As Men Ditch Their Gillettes, the Company Responds

'We weren’t trying to court controversy,' says company exec of new ad
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2019 11:15 AM CST
This image from Gillette's Twitter account shows a Gillette advertisement. The ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking online backlash, with some saying it talks down to men and calling for...   (Gillette via AP)

(Newser) – A new Gillette ad has provoked a huge reaction on social media, but perhaps not precisely in the way parent company Procter & Gamble anticipated. As NPR notes, the ad accusing men of boorish behavior and urging them to end it has roughly twice as many dislikes as likes on YouTube. (You can watch it here.) The company, however, insists it didn't try to generate controversy simply as a way to raise the brand's profile. Details and developments:

  • Company's defense: "We weren't trying to court controversy," Gillette brand director Pankaj Bhalla tells Fast Company. "We were just trying to upgrade the selling line that we've held for 30 years—the Best a Man Can Get—and make it relevant." The idea, he says, is to help good men be better, by actions such as respecting women and pushing back against bullying. "I don't think our intention was to have controversy just for the sake of controversy."
  • Actually positive: Despite the larger number of dislikes, a broader look at social media metrics suggests response has been generally positive, notes Fast Company. "Between January 14 and 16, 63% of the 645,000 tweets about @Gillette have been positive, and 94% of the 246,000 tweets hashtagged #TheBestMenCanBe have been positive."

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