04 Aug Gillette: A Post-American, Post-Profitable Company
Twitterati and SJW mobs are destroying the discernment and judgment of America’s corporate leadership. Gillette’s CEO, Gary Coombe, is a pathetic case in point.
Coombe says the Gillette brand was in trouble among millennials—as a brand associated with the dads of millennials—and was losing out to up-and-comers like Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s. So he was happy to ‘take a chance in an emotionally charged way’ by greenlighting an edgy SJW marketing campaign that came down hard on what the left characterizes as the ‘toxic masculinity’ of American men.
The longstanding Gillette tagline of ‘the best a man can get’ was to be turned on its head by portraying men as relentlessly misogynistic pigs and bullies, forever hell bent on sexual harassment of every woman they encounter. Challenging men to be better —‘is this the best a man can get’?— was viewed as a bold stand in line with #MeToo and other millennial causes, and sure to revive the Gillette brand within the up and coming generation.
An $8 billion write-off soon followed. That’s $8 billion.
Mr. Coombe’s frank take on the loss is incredibly telling:
“I don’t enjoy that some people were offended by the film and upset at the brand as a consequence. That’s not nice and goes against every ounce of training I’ve had in this industry over a third of a century,” he said.
“But I am absolutely of the view now that for the majority of people to fall more deeply in love with today’s brands you have to risk upsetting a small minority and that’s what we’ve done.”
“…you have to risk upsetting a small minority and that’s what we’ve done.”
Mr. Coombe manifestly believes that a small minority of American men are offended by the characterization of men as sexual harassers, bullies and general miscreants.
Mr. Coombe, you need to get out into the country you live in, and stop assigning breakthrough wisdom and insight to twitter mobs and leftist media outlets. You need to grasp the ‘hate America’ thread of their thinking, and reject it as unjustified. The majority of American men in all generations are NOT who your ad campaign portrays them to be, and do NOT aspire to be those men. Your ad did not offend a small minority; it offended a majority of American men and women.
No American man I know would claim to be perfect, and relations between the sexes will forever have degrees of dysfunction. But to leap from these common sense realities into a conviction that a majority of American men are worthy of contempt—and that an ad campaign saying so would be bothersome to only a ‘small minority’ is just ridiculously out of touch with America as it really is.
Just as ridiculous is that Mr. Coombe works for a Board of Directors that apparently thinks a $8 billion loss is ok so long as the triggering event would get an SJW seal of approval. Shareholders of Proctor & Gamble may yet take exception to this nonsense, and demand that Mr. Coombe be allowed to continue his enlightened stance so popular at Democrat Party gatherings, but not as CEO of Gillette.
Full disclosure: count me among the offended. In five decades of using shaving products, I don’t think I ever used a non-Gillette product—up until the SJW ad campaign. I’ve not used a Gillette product since, and never will again—unless and until Gillette makes a public apology and retraction. I don’t insist that Mr. Coombe be fired–that’s a decision for P&G’s Board–but I do hope he wakes up before it’s too late.
That $8 billion loss may be just the beginning of Gillette’s problems.