Russian Activists Call For Procter & Gamble Boycott

The U.S.-based company Procter & Gamble is the largest advertiser in Russia. But now some Russians are calling for a boycott because P&G is a sponsor of the state-controlled NTV television network. NTV is seen as very pro-Kremlin, and a recent program accused opposition activists of paying people to show up at an anti-voter fraud rally.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Russian activists in a lather.

It'll take a few seconds here to explain the pun. If you tune into Russian television, it does not take long before you see an ad for shampoo or toothpaste or detergent from a Procter & Gamble company.

The U.S.-based corporation is the largest advertiser in Russia. But now some Russians want Procter & Gamble to clean up its politics. They're calling for a boycott because P&G is a sponsor of the state-controlled NTV television network. NTV is seen as very pro-Kremlin, pro-Vladimir Putin, the man who has just been elected president once again.

In a statement released on social media sites, Procter & Gamble says it respects freedom of speech but its policy is to do business outside of politics. That statement has not deterred calls for the boycott, which activists describe as political hygiene.

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