Gillette new campaign stirs global controversy

Gillette a brand of men and women’s safety razors has recently launched an advertising campaign with the theme “The best men can be”, calling on men to improve themselves by standing up against bullying, sexism and harassment.

With so many controversies rolling around the campaign on social media, it has hit over 10 million views in the last 48 hours on YouTube and 17.8 million views on twitter. While some see the new advert as Gillette promoting sexism others see it as a good way of men calling out toxic behaviours.

In response to the outrageous comments, Gillette however took to its twitter page to state that “we hope to inspire Men to be their best, and we are starting with our own actions, This includes how we portray men in marketing and there is a commitment to donate $1m per year for the next 3 years to organizations that help men and boys achieve their personal best.”

Speaking on fox news Karol Markowicz, a new york columnist in her words said “personally i find it entirely offensive, it conflict masculinity with card calling with violence, it also conflict two boys wrestling as well with bullying and other unsavoury behaviour and that is ridiculous, we will never do that to women, we will never say this woman is behaving badly and so all women are bad.”

While some viewers, including Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Charlotte Clymer, embraced the ad as an “unexpectedly powerful and moving video” on toxic masculinity, others denounced it as an “exploitative” attempt to capitalize on an important movement. Some men have further vowed to boycott Gillette over what they consider to be an “assault on masculinity.”

Among the strongest critics were British television personality Piers Morgan, who took to twitter to rail against the ad: “I’ve used Gillette razors my entire life, but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity.”

According to the president of  P&G global grooming Per Gary Coombe, he stated that  Gillette believes in the best in men; that by holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behaviour, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal ‘best, the organisation can deliver positive change that will matter in years to come.

However, the new Gillete ad represents several instances where men are making choices which by virtue of what should be normalized can help change the cultures in a beneficial way, it has indeed aggravate a lot of mixed reactions and as such the society must continue to shift gender norms until progress becomes irreversible.

The video campaign closes with the on-screen text: “It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can get closer to our best”


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