Many international companies continue to place advertisements in state-controlled media in Russia and Belarus even after the outbreak of war. This helps to finance the war propaganda of the Russian and Belarusian governments. Libereco demands that Western companies immediately end their advertising in these media.

The Russian-Belarusian war of aggression on Ukraine is in full swing. The war is also made possible by the well-funded propaganda in the state-controlled media of both countries. Without the lies and distortions spread by the Russian and Belarusian media, opposition to the war among the populations of both countries would increase significantly.

Apple, Bayer, Bosch, Coca-Cola, Danone, Dyson, Ferrero, Ford, Jacobs, L’Oréal, Mars, McDonalds, Nestlé or Pepsi, among others, continue to advertise their products on Russian or Belarusian state television even during the war in Ukraine.

These advertisements help finance the war propaganda of the state-controlled TV stations. Western companies should therefore immediately refrain from advertising in all state-controlled media in Russia and Belarus. Google, Facebook, and YouTube have already responded to the outbreak of war by making it impossible for Russian state media to earn money through their platforms.

Libereco, a Swiss-German human rights organization, monitored advertising by Western companies on Belarusian state television from July 2021 to February 2022. In response to public pressure, several companies such as Henkel, Nestlé, JYSK and Sandoz have since stopped advertising on Lukashenko’s propaganda channels.

Lars Bünger, President of Libereco in Switzerland, demands: “It is now urgent that all Western companies, without exception, immediately refrain from further advertising on Belarusian and Russian state television. With every additional euro of advertising money spent by Western companies, they are helping to finance Putin’s and Lukashenko’s murderous war. We now expect all companies to make quick decisions within 48 hours and otherwise prepare boycott calls. All affected companies should donate their advertising money to the Red Cross, Caritas or Libereco, which use it to help the victims of war, instead of to the propaganda channels.”

Libereco also demands that the EU, Switzerland and all democratic countries put all state media in Belarus and Russia on the sanctions list, thus banning Western companies from further advertising.