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Defence Sector Reputation: The Impact of the Russo-Ukrainian War

alva’s latest analysis reveals the impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on defence companies

Through the lens of seven major defence companies, alva has examined 3 million+ press, media analysis and social media data points to reveal how sentiment trends have shifted across this sector, and identified reputational issues for the defence sector in relation to the Russo-Ukraine war.

Key findings of the report are:

  • Defence company CEOs’ responses to conflict are integral to perception of their companies. While Raytheon CEO Gregory J. Hayes is criticised for “essentially cheerleading for a war, more subtle and diplomatic messaging from BAE Systems CEO Charles Woodburn lands more palatably for stakeholders such as Communities and NGOs.
  • Discussion of defensive equipment is well-received more broadly. Communities respond positively to news of purchase orders of equipment which seeks to nullify aggressive weapons, while Governments purchasing these systems also tend to perceive these companies more favourably.
  • Ukraine conflict discussion generates mixed sentiment for Defence companies, which reflects mixed stakeholder attitudes: Investors and Governments view the Defence sector most favourably, NGOs most pessimistically.

Download the full report here.