Proctor & Gamble, the parent company of shaving brand Gillette, learned its lesson the hard way that the vast majority of its base (so, everyone that’s man enough to grow facial hair) are sick and tired of the “toxic masculinity” narrative, of being constantly berated with imperatives to be more feminine, and of being targetted as scapegoats for all that’s wrong with the fake liberal idea of the “cruel, white Western world.”
And, when I say P & G learned their lesson the hard way, I mean it, as many are specultating that it was the company’s now-infamous “toxic masculinity” Gillette ad that cost P & G billions of dollars after men turned away from the brand in protest.
P & G just released a report that detailed a $5.25 billion dollar net loss, of which an $8 billion write-down on Gillette contributed heavily to.
Take a look at news of this that hit Twitter:
For reference, here's the Gillette advertisement that caused many men to boycott the brand:
For some more background on why the Gillette ad cost the company, Forbes commented:
Part of the Gillette’s motive for running the ad may be that there is recent research suggesting that millennials give more credit to brands using corporate social responsibility appeals (See Hoffman 2014 and Neilsen 2017). While there appears to be something to this generalization about millennials and CSR appeals, much more needs to be learned about the nuances of what works and what does not. In this case, it appears Gillette will learn a lesson about what not to do as pertains to corporate responsibility efforts.
Reaction to "We Believe in the Best in Men" has been overwhelmingly negative, with comments on its own Youtube channel running negative by an astonishing ten to one margin. There are those who really like the ad really like the campaign a lot and argue that it is simply trying to reinforce positive behavior. However, the much larger group who dislikes it includes many men who are saying the ad is insulting to men and full of stereotypes. What is perhaps most dangerous for Gillette, however, is the large number of posters who are threatening to never buy the product again.
CNBC has more details on the billion-dollar loss that P & G experienced, likely because of the Gillette boycott:
Despite Procter & Gamble’s write-down of its struggling Gillette brand, executives expressed confidence about the future of the shaving business.
P&G reported an impairment charge of $8.0 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, resulting in a net loss of $5.24 billion. The one-time, noncash charge was to adjust the carrying values of Gillette’s goodwill and intangible assets.
“Grooming continues to be a very attractive business — organic sales up year over year,” CFO Jon Moeller told analysts on the conference call.
In its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report, the company said Gillette has consistently generated “significant” earnings and cash flow and continues to be a strategic business with growth opportunities. Last year, Gillette sold $6.22 billion of men’s razors and blades and $1.28 billion of women’s razors and blades worldwide, according to Euromonitor data.
Reuters also stated:
P&G 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. For the same period last year, P&G’s net income was $1.89 billion, or 72 cents per share.
Cincinnati-based P&G, which operates in 80 countries, sells Gillette razors, gels and foams worldwide and said the writedown was due primarily to currency fluctuations - enduring strength in the U.S. economy in recent years has strengthened the dollar. The charge was also driven by more competition over the past three years and a shrinking market for blades and razors as consumers in developed markets shave less frequently. Net sales in the grooming business, which includes Gillette, have declined in 11 out of the last 12 quarters.
“Initial carrying values for Gillette were established nearly 14 years ago in 2005. ... New competitors have entered at prices below the category average,” Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said on a call.
P&G paid $57 billion in 2005 for Gillette, the world’s No.1 shaving brand that is more than a century old. But in the 2010s technology altered the way consumers purchased razors, and relaxed social norms prompted men to shave less often, according to a Euromonitor report. In the past 5 years, the U.S. men’s market for shaving products has shrunk by over 11%, the data firm said.
Paul Joseph Watson over at Summit News also made a great point:
P&G claims the writedown is “due primarily to foreign exchange fluctuations, increased competition and a contracting market for blades and razors as consumers in developed markets shave less frequently.”
But how much of that “increased competition,” from the likes of Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club, was thanks to customers abandoning Gillette after their man-bashing commercial?
If P&G wants to halt the slide it may have to seriously reconsider alienating a huge chunk of its customer base with identity politics nonsense.