Shaving company Gillette took a stand earlier in the year challenging whether toxic masculinity and chauvinism were truly “the best a man can get” but it may have led to a whopping $8 billion loss over the next quarter.
Gillette’s “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” commercial, which released in January of this year, featured men supervising boys wrestling in grass, grilling out in their backyards and stopping other men from sexually harassing women; but, it was ill-received by customers.
Several people remarked the video was “anti-male” and depicted men in a trivial or pathetic way. The “woke” campaign caused some people to boycott Gillette products and Reuters reports the company took an $8 billion loss over the second quarter of this year.
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.
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.
More than seven months after the commercial was first uploaded on January 13, 2019, it has garnered 87,000 dislikes but a mere 24,000 likes.