Industry Reacts to Escalating Situation in Ukraine
Global companies in and connected with the licensing industry have made statements and business-related reactions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As many western countries impose sanctions on Russia, giants such as Disney and WarnerMedia have announced that they will not be distributing their latest movies in Russia, including The Batman.
The global outrage following Russia’s devastating invasion has been swift, with sanctions imposed almost immediately by governments around the world, and media, toy and manufacturing companies have reacted with similar speed.
BBC, ITV and others have stopped all content licensing in Russia. Banijay has frozen all Russian business activities. Apple and Ford are also dialling back operations in the country. Netflix announced that it would stop streaming in Russia. Russian state media has been blocked or censored by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others.
Facebook-parent Meta announced it would block access to Russian news outlets RT and Sputnik across the EU. Twitter is ‘reducing visibility’ of Russian state media content.
The Ukrainian Association of Toy Industry President Pavel Ovchynnikov released this statement with a call to action:
“The Ukrainian Association of Toy Industry appeals to all leading world toys manufacturers around the world with a request to stop sales and shipments of top world toy brands to Russian companies.
Join the companies who ignore and cancel the country run by the Aggressor and Occupant. The cooperation with Russians have already stopped by the car manufacturers with the world wide known brands: Audi, Volkswagen, BMW and other car concerns as well as US tech company Intel, Chinese Lenovo and Ukrainian Jooble platform.
Block by ignore and cancel the country-aggressor! Support the children of the Ukrainian defenders!!!
We are waiting! make your choice!”
The LEGO Group was the first major international toy company to make a statement, announcing it was pausing shipments and had made a multi-million dollar donation to emergency relief efforts with a focus on children and families.
“We care deeply about the lasting impact on children and together with the LEGO Foundation and Ole Kirk’s Fond, we will donate DKK 110 million (approx. USD 16.5 million) to emergency relief efforts, with a focus on providing support for children and families. The donation will be made to existing partners, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children, and the Danish Red Cross,” reads and excerpt from the statement,
The Pokémon company announced it has made an immediate donation of $200,000 to Global Giving’s Relief Fund. Other toy makes are following suit with large donations, including MGA Entertainment. Playmobil has ceased all sales to Russia.
We will monitor the situation closely.
There are many ways to send financial aid to the situation.
Here are a few useful links: