Gillette Dumps Campaign Against 'Toxic Masculinity' After Losing Billions
Boston, MA – Gillette has announced that it is “shifting the spotlight” of its advertising campaign, after backlash following their recent progressive ads about various social issues contributed to an $8 billion write-down for parent company Procter & Gamble.
The 118-year-old razor company tackled the issue of “toxic masculinity” in January, when it released an ad that showcased the negative stereotypes of traditional masculinity.
The ad depicted men fighting, bullying, and harassing and groping women, while an endless line of men standing shoulder-to-shoulder behind grills blew off their behavior while repeating the mantra, “Boys will be boys.”
“’Boys will be boys?’” the company tweeted. “Isn’t it time we stopped excusing bad behavior?"
“Is this the best a man can get?” the narrator said in the ad, before it credited the #MeToo movement for taking a stand against “toxic masculinity.”
“There will be no going back, because we believe in the best in men,” the narrator continued. “To say the right thing. To act the right way.”
Despite backlash, Gillette doubled-down with other social-issue centered ads in the months that followed.
In April, the company released a Venus razor ad that featured bikini-clad, plus-sized Instagram model Anna O’Brien playing in the surf, The Blaze reported.
“Go out there and slay the day,” the company captioned the image of O’Brien.
Many critics slammed the ad as a promotion of unhealthy lifestyles, according to The Blaze.
“Venus is committed to representing beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, and skin types because ALL types of beautiful skin deserve to be shown,” Gillette tweeted the following day. “We love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the ‘rules’ say she should display it.”
The following month, the company released an ad that showed a father helping his female-to-male transgender son to shave for the first time.
“Now don’t be scared – don’t be scared,” the father said in the ad. “Shaving is about being confident. You are doing fine.”
“It’s not just myself transitioning,” the son explained during the clip. “It’s everybody around me transitioning.”
Procter & Gamble reported a net loss of $5.24 billion as a result of the $8 billion impairment charge, CNBC reported in late July.
The company blamed the write-down on global currency devaluations and the fact that growing beards has become more of a trend.
Competitors who sell their products for less have also been an issue, CNBC reported.
The company did not mention alienating a large number of its customers as a potential reason for the downturn.
The company recently announced that has begun “shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes,” and released an ad featuring Australian firefighter and personal trainer Ben Ziekenheiner, News.com.au reported.
“We have a very clear strategy when it comes to how we authentically connect with our consumers,” a Gillette spokesperson told the news outlet. “We will continue to talk about what is important to Gillette and that is representing men at their best and helping men do their best. That is not changing. We will continue to do that and demonstrate it in different ways.”