Coca-Cola Pulls Ads On Russian Television

Russian business daily Kommersant reported earlier that Coca-Cola had stopped placing ads on REN-TV, Channel Five, Domashny and Russia’s Defense Ministry’s channel Zvezda. That has been confirmed by The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) stating that it is rethinking its marketing plans following a drop in second-quarter sales.

Coca-Cola Pulls Ads On Russian Television

Coca-Cola’s sales drop, not politics?

The company denied that the move had anything to do with present sanctions in place against Russia or the deteriorating situation in the Ukraine.

“As a result of the evaluation of The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s beverage sales in the second quarter of 2014 in Russia, we have made a decision to change the plan of promotional activities on TV and focus on key federal channels and most efficient channels with regards to our target audience,” a company spokeswoman said by email.

“There is no political motive in this decision,” she said.

Just a coincidence?

While the company has made that clear, the timing and the ownership of the stations in question makes the suggestion that it’s not political a touch suspicious and the article from Kommersant quoted sources close to the affair saying that it was political owing to the fact that the owner of three of those channels has been personally targeted by Western sanctions.

REN-TV and Channel Five – are part of the media holding company National Media Group, which is owned by Yuri Kovalchuk’s St-Petersburg-based Bank Rossiya. Kovalchuk was targeted by the West for being the “personal banker” to Vladimir Putin and others close to the Russian president.

Kovalchuk also owns a 25-percent stake in CTC Media, the parent of the Domashny Channel, through Bank Rossiya’s subsidiary Telcrest.

Coca-Cola still advertises on 13 channels after dropping the four and points out that it still advertises on CTC and Peretz which are owned by CTC Media.

The article points out that Coca-Cola is one of the biggest advertisers in Russia at roughly $70 million a year. That is, however, dwarfed by Pepsico which spends nearly three times that amount each year.

Coca-Cola confirms taking down ads

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) confirmed on Wednesday it had taken advertisements off four Russian television channels, saying a fall in second-quarter sales had prompted a rethink of its marketing plans.Russian business daily Kommersant reported earlier that Coca-Cola had stopped placing ads on REN-TV, Channel Five, Domashny and Russia’s Defence Ministry’s channel Zvezda.The newspaper quoted sources saying this was probably linked to US and European sanctions over Ukraine because a businessm ..



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Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com