North America

Men's rights activists call for boycott of Gillette after #MeToo ad campaign

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The ad from the global brand encourages men to hold each other to a higher standard of behaviour and no longer use the saying "boys will be boys" as an excuse.

Some customers say they are throwing their Gillette razors out in disgust at the shaving supply company's latest ad campaign challenging men to "shave their toxic masculinity".

The ad, called 'We Believe', is among the first to address the #MeToo movement head on and urges society to no longer use the excuse "boys will be boys" for bad behaviour - but not everybody is on board.

On social media, some people have claimed the ad demonises men and called for a public apology, while others have taken it a step further and filmed themselves throwing their Gillette products in the bin alongside the hashtag #boycottgillette. 

"I'm taking action. I'm researching every product made by Proctor & Gamble [the company that owns Gillette], throwing any I have in the trash, and never buying any of them again until everyone involved in this ad from top to bottom is fired and the company issues a public apology," wrote one Twitter user.

"Just here to say you lost a customer from 20 years. And I'll make sure to share this marvellous piece of garbage video with everyone at the office today so by the end of the day you will lose another couple of hundred," commented another on YouTube. 

Others quickly jumped to the defence of the campaign, pointing out that the outraged response reinforces why the ad was necessary. 

At the time of publishing, the campaign video had been viewed 1,736,341 times on YouTube, garnering 171,000 dislike reactions, as opposed to 17,000 in support. 

Gillette's North American brand director Pankaj Bhalla said in a statement it was important to have this conversation. He also said the company felt compelled to encourage men to be the best they can be.

“We are taking a realistic look at what’s happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is not an excuse," he said.

Men's rights activists have called for a boycott of Gillette after the company released an ad campaign about the #MeToo movement.
Men's rights activists have called for a boycott of Gillette after the company released an ad campaign about the #MeToo movement.
Twitter/Gillette

The ad, which puts a new spin on the brand's 30-year-old tagline -'The Best a Man Can Get', kicks off with a flurry of news clips about the #MeToo movement and bullying.

"Is this the best a man can get, is it?" the ad's narrator asks.

The narrator then goes on to say men can no longer "hide" from the issues of bullying and sexual harassment.

"We can't laugh it off, making the same old excuses," the narrator says.

It's not the first time major global brand has taken a stance on social issues.

Last year, Nike launched a campaign featuring NFL star Colin Kepernick, the first player to kneel during the US national anthem in a protest against racism.

He was used as one of the faces for ads commemorating the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" slogan.

Colin Kaepernick
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee as the US national anthem was played to protest racism.
AP

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