Gillette’s "The best men can be" campaign, which addresses bullying, sexism and harassment, has provoked a fierce debate online.
The ad – which showcases the worst of male behaviour and asks: "Is this the best a man can get?" – has caused a stir on Twitter with users even starting a #BoycottGillette hashtag.
I won't be buying Gillette and other P&G products again. A company that has built its empire thanks to men buying its products for decades now dares to spit on masculinity in the new commercial. I'm done! #BoycottGillette— A. Mathura (@ptmathura) January 15, 2019
— El_Mariachi (@El_Mariachi051) January 14, 2019
An angry Piers Morgan also slammed the "man-hating" ad:
Users have called the ad "smarmy" and "the product of mainstream radicalized feminism" in Twitter tirades:
the only ones lauding the Gillette ad work in media/advertising. everyone else sees it for what it is: a smarmy, condescending virtue signal aimed at the hardworking decent men they been price-gouging for years.— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) January 15, 2019
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) January 15, 2019
The #Gillette commercial is the product of mainstream radicalized feminism— & emblematic of Cultural Marxism.
LET LITTLE BOYS WRESTLE.
Despite what Lena Dunham tells you, women are not into beta males & men are not into chicks w/ armpit hair.
I'd like to thank Gillette for reminding me how horrible it is to be man. This should sit well with your customers. NOT.— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) January 14, 2019
British comedian Ricky Gervais weighed in on the debate too:
I used to love beating up kids at barbecues. Now I realise that is wrong. Also, my balls have never been smoother. Thanks, Gillette.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) January 15, 2019
However, the response was not wholly negative, with some commentators praising the "brave" spot:
THIS is how you use your brand. THIS is how you engage with your audience. Gillette being aware of mostly having a male audience and using their influence as a global brand to make a change for the better. other companies take notes pic.twitter.com/KCdxKDLji0— laq (@spidervesre) January 15, 2019
Meanwhile, others have raised concerns about those complaining:
People are upset at @Gillette because the company challenged men to hold each other accountable for things like bullying and harassment. Think about what kind of person boycotts a company for promoting responsible behavior.— Daddy Files (@DaddyFiles) January 15, 2019
Joe Wade, chief executive of Don't Panic, pointed out that brands that jump on a political purpose bandwagon with no "track record as a purposeful brand" often garner criticism. He said: "The backlash demonstrates that they have no right to be in this space that they have entered, learning nothing from Pepsi's 'Jennergate' debacle.
"No-one looks to a razor company for guidance or wisdom on how to be a man."