Published On: Sat, Aug 24th, 2019

Gillette tries new direction after woke ‘toxic masculinity’ campaign failed, P&G lost $8 billion

Weeks after Procter & Gamble reported a shocking $8 billion writeoff, Gillette may calling off its war on “toxic masculinity,” announcing that it is now “shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes.”

In one new ad, which launched last week, stars Australian firefighter and personal trainer Ben Ziekenheiner. “I’ve been a firefighter for 19 years,” Ziekenheiner begins.

“People sometimes ask if it’s scary. It can be, but like anyone who has a job to do, you prepare — not just in terms of your equipment but also mentally and physically.”

Their new focus is the SkinGuard, targeting the issue of sensitive skin for men who shave every day, including firefighters, who are required to be clean-shaven as it enables a proper seal for their breathing mask. Check out one of the ads below.

“We have a very clear strategy when it comes to how we authentically connect with our consumers,” said Manu Airan, associate brand director for Gillette Australia and New Zealand.

“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.”

There has been a culture shift away from shaving and expansion of the market with new niche brands.

Airan said while shaving frequency had been reducing, “for us it’s an opportunity.”

“Despite shaving frequency decreasing our sales have increased (thanks to) the innovation we are bringing to consumers’ unmet needs,” he said.

$8 billion dollars later and a shocking anti-make ad campaign and we see a company “going woke” and trying not to “go broke.”

Gillette’s “toxic masculinity” mess began in January when the brand released an ad accusing men of “excusing bad behavior” and portraying traditional masculinity in an entirely negative and stereotypical light.

“‘Boys will be boys’? Isn’t it time we stopped excusing bad behavior? Re-think and take action by joining us at http://TheBestMenCanBe.org,” the brand tweeted in mid-January.

The ad features men engaged in all kinds of bad behavior, including bullying, catcalling and groping women, and violence, meanwhile men behind the grill at a gathering dismiss the inappropriate behavior as “Boys will be boys.”

The ad was clearly an attempt to align with the perceived demands of the #MeToo movement, the allegations of a culture ripe with “toxic masculinity” culture has “finally changed.”

“There will be no going back because we — we believe in the best in men,” the narrator states. “To say the right thing, to act the right way. Some already are — in ways big and small. But some is not enough because the boys watching today will become the men of tomorrow.”

Gillette even published a longer version, a “short film,” citing more examples of this horrible version of males. Check out those clips below.

Backlash was quick and vocal with many consumers announcing they would abandon the brand and for the next few months, Gillette responded by doubling down on the social justice messaging, releasing a “fat acceptance” ad as well as an ad showing a father’s first time teaching his female-to-male transgender child how to shave.

Then there’s the “Oddly Satisfying” man shaving his armpit video with facial expressions attempting humor and well, watch it for yourself below.

Procter & Gamble found itself taking an $8 billion writedown, as noted above. This was despite positive performance overall for Procter & Gamble Co., who enjoyed better than expected profits last quarter, the company ended up reporting a net loss of over $5 billion. The reason: Gillette’s nosedive.

“Procter & Gamble Co’s (PG.N) quarterly revenue and adjusted profit beat Wall Street expectations on Tuesday, sending shares to a record-high even as the world’s No.1 personal goods company took an $8 billion charge on its Gillette shaving business,” Reuters reported in late July. Procter & Gamble “reported a net loss of about $5.24 billion, or $2.12 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, due to an $8 billion non-cash writedown of Gillette,” the news agency explained.


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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