Gillette CEO: $8 Billion Loss over Woke Ads ‘Worth Paying’

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Gillette CEO and president Gary Coombe is defending the $8 billion write-down Procter & Gamble experienced last quarter related to his brand, saying in a recent interview that it was “worth paying” and that he doesn’t mind alienating some customers.

Coombe told Marketing Week that the loss was “a price worth paying” as the 188-year-old maker of razors, blades and other grooming products contends with dwindling sales.

“It was pretty stark. We were losing share, we were losing awareness and penetration, and something had to be done,” Coombe said. He said Gillette decided to “take a chance in an emotionally-charged way.”

Gillette debuted a commercial in January that not only spotlighted the #MeToo movement but attacked traditional masculinity. In a series of scenes, the commercial depicted men and boys engaging in sexual harassment, bullying and workplace condescension towards women.

“Is this the best a man can get?” the commercial asked, inverting Gillette’s famous tagline “the best a man can get.”

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