Protest action in Fuschl am See, banner inscription »Red Bull gives Putin wings«
Photo: Handout/Getty Images
In Fuschl am See, Austria, pro-Ukrainian activists demonstrated against Red Bull's business with Russia.
In front of the headquarters of the energy drink manufacturer, the activists stretched what they said was a 400 square meter banner.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was pictured riding the bull in the company's logo.
"Red Bull gives Putin wings" was written above it in English, in reference to the company's advertising slogan "Red Bull gives wings".
The action is backed by the Ukraine Solidarity Project, which it says is "a network of international and Ukrainian activists who denounce companies doing business in Putin's Russia."
They came to the headquarters "to start a new, honest Red Bull advertising campaign," the group wrote on Twitter.
On a website, the activists turned to athletes sponsored by Red Bull.
"By deciding to sell Red Bull in supermarkets across Russia, the company's bosses are signaling that they are happy to continue paying taxes to the Kremlin regime and that Putin's war is not an obstacle to their profits," the group said.
Other brands, on the other hand, have withdrawn from Russia.
Red Bull has yet to comment
The activists called on Red Bull-sponsored athletes to speak out publicly and thus help »to ensure that Red Bull no longer plays a role in this war«.
A short-term request from SPIEGEL to Red Bull initially went unanswered.
The company's website has had a brief statement for a long time: "Red Bull stopped all marketing activities and new investments in Russia at the beginning of March and is complying with all EU and US sanctions," it says there.
The activists say Red Bull declined a request to speak at the scene.
In a list by the US University of Yale about the activities of companies in Russia, Red Bull comes in the second worst of five categories.
In this category are companies that have restricted their business but have not completely withdrawn from the market.
(Read an article from May here why some companies are reluctant to withdraw from Russia.) Other companies, such as the Japanese sportswear brand Asics or the US company Tupperware, would continue with their “business as usual”.