‘Get Woke, Go Broke’: Gillette Says It’s Backing Off Social Issues After Backlash Over Toxic Masculinity Ad

Written by Ann Brown
Via Gillette:Youtube

Gillette had attempted some innovative advertising with its “The Man I Am,” which aimed to take on “toxic masculinity.” In the #MeToo era some saw the ads as daring, but the company had such major backlash that some insiders say it caused sales to drop significantly. The “woke ads” were putting sales to sleep.

So now the international razor company Gillette says it is “shifting the spotlight from social issues” in its marketing strategy and will focus instead on “local heroes” in its advertising.

“In January, Gillette caused an uproar when it attempted to in the age of the #MeToo movement with an ad lecturing men to ‘hold other men accountable. Despite the backlash, the company waded further into the culture wars in April by launching a campaign aimed at ‘body positivity,’ but was widely accused of promoting unhealthy lifestyle choices,” The Blaze reported.

Pushing the envelope even further, in May, Gillette debuted another progressive ad featuring a transgender man shaving for the first time.

“While the “First Shave” ad was generally well received, it was widely seen as Gillette doubling down on its push into social issues,” News.com reported. 

Responding to one Facebook comment, the company said, “We believe brands play a role in influencing culture and have a responsibility to use their voice for good.”

Then the quarterly reports were revealed and, according to a CNBC report, the Proctor & Gamble brand was “struggling” and posted a fiscal fourth quarter net loss of $5.24 billion. 

P&G purchased the 118-year-old shaving business in 2005 for $57 billion