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Procter & Gamble’s latest revenue report shows the multinational corporation is doing just fine. One of its blue chip brands, however, is not. The consumer goods company took a serious financial shave on Gillette, announcing an $8 billion non-cash write-down on the world’s leading shaving brand, which P&G purchased for $57 billion in 2005.
Gillette, of course, produced the viral commercial on toxic masculinity that created a bit of a fuss in January.
Bullying - MeToo - Movement - Harassment - Masculinity
“Bullying, the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, toxic masculinity. Is this the best a man can get? Is it?” asked the ad, which featured males in various settings bullying, pinching bottoms, and mansplaining.
The ad became a touchstone of sorts for where one stood on the culture war. Many viewed it as a courageous act of corporate responsibility. Others saw it as “virtue signaling corporations.”
Event - Gillette - Ad - Business - Roundtable
In any event, the Gillette ad remains relevant considering the Business Roundtable’s recent announcement redefining the purpose of corporations to include the advancement of various social goods along with shareholder profit.
The statement would seem to formalize the growing trend of “woke capitalism,” a phenomenon that involves corporations using their influence and dollars to advance social justice.
New - York - Times - Ross - Douthat
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has described this dance as “a certain kind of virtue-signaling on progressive social causes…offered to liberalism and the activist left preemptively, in the hopes that having corporate America take their side in the culture wars will blunt efforts to tax or regulate our new monopolies too heavily.”
One need not be a cynic to suspect that corporations may be motivated by factors other than altruism, of course. It’s certainly possible corporations are simply tapping into woke culture to advance their own corporate interests — whether it’s to avoid regulatory pressure, curry favor with political activists, or inoculate their brands from charges of corporate greed.
Sincere or not,...
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