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Coincidence? After Gillette’s Toxic Masculinity Campaign, Company Takes $8 billion Non-cash Writedown

Coincidence? After Gillette’s Toxic Masculinity Campaign, Company Takes $8 billion Non-cash Writedown

Maybe don’t tell your entire customer base that they’re terrible human beings?

Wading into progressive politics comes at a price, especially when doing so involves telling your largest consumer base that they’re terrible people.

Earlier this year, Proctor and Gamble’s Gillette launched a campaign against the much maligned and arguably completely fictional “toxic masculinity.” The campaign was widely and rightly criticized.

According to Reuters, P&G reported a $5.24 billion net loss:

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.

“Initial carrying values for Gillette were established nearly 14 years ago in 2005. … New competitors have entered at prices below the category average,” Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said on a call.

Gillette has lost a fair amount of business to competitors like Dollar Shave Club. The toxic masculinity campaign was an attempt to gain favor with the millennial crowd and not one its CEO regrets.

From WaEx:

“I don’t enjoy that some people were offended by the film and upset at the brand as a consequence. That’s not nice and goes against every ounce of training I’ve had in this industry over a third of a century,” he said. “But I am absolutely of the view now that for the majority of people to fall more deeply in love with today’s brands you have to risk upsetting a small minority and that’s what we’ve done.”

Gillette was acquired by Proctor & Gamble in 2005 for $57 billion. In devaluing it by $8 billion, the parent company blamed currency fluctuations, new competitors, and new social norms that have led to men shaving less often. There is no evidence that the “best a man can get” ads pushing back against sexism and bullying contributed to the $8 billion figure.

Coombe said that the #MeToo ad the company put out in January was an attempt to capture market share among millennials, a category in which they were losing market share to Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club.

In January, Gillette ran the short film “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” which took on “toxic masculinity” and the #MeToo movement. Some criticized the ad for “virtue signaling” and making broad generalizations about male behavior. In May, Gillette also ran an ad depicting a man teaching his transgender son how to shave for the first time.

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

For more on their barf-worthy campaign, see here.


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Gillette makes great razors. They managed to shave $8 billion of their balance sheet…

Possibility that hot me after the Captain Marvel silliness, did Gillette do their toxic add to cover for losses they knew were coming?

CM was a middling movie that would have only been remarkable for being a poor Marvel movie, had they not made it a SJW cause dejour. Throwing out this sort of thing seems to be a rather ruthless way to ensure any losses are attributed to something other than your product being under par.

What am I missing here? Given this massive write-down and the CEO’s SJW babbling, shouldn’t there be a slam-dunk class-action suit here? The CEO and the Board of Directors have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, not the woke scold mob on Twitter, right?

I give this Bozo Gillette CEO less than a year before he is sacked.

    Considering that their business has been in decline for years now, maybe P&G should spin them off or sell them. A tarnished brand in a declining market segment is a tough row to hoe. Do it before any class action lawsuits appear.

    Now that I work at home, I don’t shave every day now either. This seems to be increasingly common among my friends as my baby boomer generation retires en masse these days. And with younger men being more into facial hair, this is not fertile ground for Gillette.

    Maybe Gillette is pioneering the equity version of Modern Monetary Theory that argues negative interest rates render out-of-control debt harmless. Common sense has been abandoned entirely. We must be getting sucked into a black hole or something. Or maybe we really are living in the matrix.

C’mon man — this had nothing to do with that SJW B.S. It was totally due to:

(#1) Competition from cheaper blade-by-mail competitors
(32) The changing habits of young men who are shaving less now than their fathers did.


    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to tiger66. | August 5, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    …and don’t leave out the currency manipulation!!!!

    ROFLMAO over that one!

    Sure, anything you say.

    I haven’t researched it; got citations?

    In any event, in today’s hyper-charged political environment, perception is quite powerful and it is working against Gillette.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to VotingFemale. | August 5, 2019 at 6:33 pm

      That article could serve as a graduate school assignment in recognizing “fake news.”

      It’s full of contradictions…….

First HR service company to develop an effective screen for keeping SJWs out gets the brass ring.

    ScottTheEngineer in reply to hopp singg. | August 5, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    This is my biggest fear at work. One SJW can take down an entire company before getting laid off.

      beagleEar in reply to ScottTheEngineer. | August 5, 2019 at 8:55 pm

      It’s unclear how much of the write-down is due to their bizzare ad campaign, but the CEO’s statement seems to indicate it is a greater share than their quarterly report lets on. Who hired that CEO?

“”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.””

Too funny! Unless, of course, the developed market was Afghanistan….

Maybe they could market to soyboys who shave their legs.

    Massinsanity in reply to Toad-O. | August 5, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Gillette makes products for and videos about manscaping… I would link to them but then I would be inundated with ads about them and that’s the last think I want.

Subotai Bahadur | August 5, 2019 at 6:24 pm

First, funny thing that all the competition, and people stopping shaving as much, etc. only affected Gillete.

Second, those who are not Leftists have learned the hard lesson that when Leftists say that they want to destroy you, they mean it and there is no compromise possible.

Subotai Bahadur

That’s okay. Analysts take the “Goodwill” line under assets as “Air” anyway.

I use Harry’s razors, which I buy from the web, though they are now sold in many Walmarts. The blades last longer. And their shave gel is better than any other I’ve tried.

    snopercod in reply to gospace. | August 6, 2019 at 7:33 am

    I guess you know that Harry’s markets to gay men with their “Shave With Pride” set. Just sayin’…

Who would have guessed that their over priced razor products where so profitable?

This is a fine example of economic redistribution!

I pulled out the 40 year old safety razor and got 1000 Astra blades for $14. A blade last 2 weeks and I now have a supply that will last me till I am 93.

Frezz in the hizzy | August 5, 2019 at 8:01 pm

If the overall state of that market is as such, then other like companies, like Schick, should be experiencing similar results. Is that the case?

And, speaking of Schick, after trying MANY razors, I have never found one even close to the Schick Xtreme3.

After over 50 years of personally using Gillette products my son and I switched to a South Korean product, Dorco razors and blades. I wanted to make sure that any other company I used was not owned by P&G. We are very pleased with the product though I would rather be using made in America products.
I am very pleased to see that many other Americans were as pissed off as I was with Gillette. P&G or Gillette should make and sell products without telling me how to be a good man. I think I got that part of life down already. Boy did they piss me off.

Don’t boycott Gillette; boycott all of P&G: Tide, Gain, Ivory, Crest, Cascade, Oral B, Head & Shoulders, Dawn, Downy, Vicks, Pepto Bismol, etc. There are plenty of alternatives.

    Massinsanity in reply to bw222. | August 5, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks for the list. The only ones we use are Ivory and Crest but will switch as soon as we run out.

Much as I’d like to believe this is a case of “get woke, go broke”, it’s more likely that all the mail order razor competitors are eating into their bottom line.

There loss is due to men not buying their product as the result of their stupid adds.

I went out and bought an electric razor.

If you are going to boycott them, tell them. Write them a polite letter telling them to stay out of politics.

Comanche Voter | August 5, 2019 at 11:23 pm

I won’t bother with a polite letter. I’ve bought my last tube of Crest toothpaste (now on my third tube of Colgate). I’ve used up my Gilete Fusion shaving cream and find that Schick Edge or Barbasol works just fine.

Unfortunately Costco sells (or sold) Gilette Fusion razors in large packs. It’s going to take time to use those up. But once the last one is gone it’s time to say “Schick You!” to Proctor & Gamble and Gilette.

After years of buying gillete by rote, I switched to Schick: it’s not only BETTER, but lasts longer, and is less money.

In other words: Gillete’s products are duller, blunt quick and cost more than Schick. Their shaving cream is overrated goo.

Schick razors are REALLY good. Barbasol shave cream is also a steal.

If Gillete came out with an half hour informercial on the joys of masculinity, I’d still never buy their overpriced, overhyped junk again.

Don’t forget the obama legacy of transvestitism: more and more American sexually confused men are now waxing their balls instead of shaving them.

Sell Proctcor and Gamble buy wax futures.

inspectorudy | August 6, 2019 at 1:56 am

Have you seen this guy? He makes Bezos look like Paul Newman! It looks like a large can of beer would give him lifting fits and even transgender people won’t claim him. Gillette should run, not walk away from this toad.

So the CEO of Gillette was and is a moron. Guess I’m not surprised.

I don’t always shave, but when I do I use Dos Equis cheapos sold in a bag at Walmart. Let’s see . . . BIC. Fabriqué en France. They’re about $0.25 each, just the thing for New England skinflints.

The way people carry on about Schick I have to wonder if I’m missing anything. Anything I’d actually notice, at least.

I just ordered Schick disposable razors on Amazon.

Well, I don’t know that we caused a multi-billion dollar loss, but my wife and I have sworn off all Proctor and Gamble products as a result of this fiasco, as well as some other issues.

It’s tough because P&G operates so many different major brand names, but we’re making an effort to find alternatives. So far so good. Made one mistake the last time at the supermarket when I bought some Puffs tissues, but I won’t repeat that again.

Not saying everyone should follow my lead, but I just couldn’t countenance supporting a business that hates me. There are other companies out there making perfectly good products that don’t hate me…or at least hide it better.

Gillette and P&G can have all the gender swapping perverts it wants as customers. Good luck growing your customer base with that approach.

Frezz in the hizzy | August 6, 2019 at 9:57 pm

Ok MajorWood, I stand corrected. A 20 blade razor may be the way forward!

Get woke, go broke