Gillette – from toxic masculinity to transgender & morbid obesity

Gillette is free to advertise how it wishes. After the monster backlash against the toxic masculinity campaign which wiped 6% in value from the brand and caused a 22% fall in the following quarter’s profits, it is hard to see how the radical social justice warriors in the marketing department have not been fired. To shareholders, it was a massive fail. A YouGov poll of household grooming products before the campaign saw Gillette fall from 7th out of 45 brands to dead last after it. Yet the company has chosen to bet the house on more virtue signalling hoping it will eventually cut through to the masses. Get woke, go broke.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a transgender kid shaving for the first time, most will likely see this ad as nothing more than Gillette doubling down on the roulette wheel of “identity politics”. What point is Gillette trying to prove? The bulk of society is growing tired of being told how to think and what to say.

Yes, there are serious transgender issues in America. 130 transgender people have been murdered since 2013. It is a damning statistic. However, it is unlikely that anyone small minded enough to commit such a heinous crime will be swayed by a Gillette ad featuring a trans actor. Why does Gillette seek to force feed its version of socially acceptable behaviours on the 99.9% of its clientele that does not require it? It is patronising in the extreme. It is like attacking NRA members as murderers.

The only company in the world that can treat its customers with disdain is Ferrari. It wields so much power that it selects customers if they are deemed worthy of owning some of its limited edition offerings. Sadly Gillette is not Ferrari.

Gillette is rife with double standards. It has brazenly sponsored a Dutch racing car series with the brand embossed across the backsides of supermodels.

Chick-fil-A, on the other hand, was established on its Southern Baptist principles. It has never hijacked a social movement to boost sales.  That is why it has seen sales treble on a doubling of stores to become the third largest fast-food chain in America. It never rams its beliefs down the throats of others.

The toxic masculinity campaign should have been a big enough lesson for the marketing team to stay in its lane. The consumer spurned Gillette at the supermarket cash register. It would have been better coming out and apologizing and praising men for all the good things they do, like the Egard Watch company.

Virtually no customers will see that trans ad and think to buy Gillette razors out of a sense of moral guilt at the treatment of this minority. Consumers buy razors to groom – period. When will the company get it?

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It wasn’t so long ago that Gillette promoted a morbidly obese woman to push female shaving products. There is a difference between standing against fat-shaming and being realistic about the many chronic health issues and massive costs related to obesity.

The American Medical Association (AMA) wrote, “the nation’s obesity rate is approaching 40% after holding around 34–35% between 2005 and 2012, according to data in The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2018. No state has had a statistically significant drop in its obesity rate in the past five years...the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that 39.6% of adults and 18.5% of children ages 2 to 19 in America have obesity, the State of Obesity report noted that “these are the highest rates ever documented“…the AMA is working to prevent and control chronic diseases, many of which are associated with obesity…”

We covered obesity in the previous post. Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, sleep apnea, liver disease, kidney disease, gallbladder disease, and certain types of cancer yet Gillette wants to celebrate it as something to be proud of.

Corporations that pursue woke marketing risk alienating their customers. There is no upside to it. Consumers are not stupid and the more companies run campaigns that fly in the face of their intelligence, will only get a backlash at the point of sale.

Don’t forget that the toxic masculinity campaign had a 10:1 negative response ratio on the millions of views it had. One can be sure Gillette will try to massage a positive response on this latest campaign. Yet, like most polls, the most accurate measure is consumer response. If sales aren’t arrested, no matter how many positive clickbait statistics they can show their bosses internally, the sales and profit figures won’t lie. That is all that ultimately matters to P&G shareholders.

Obesity in America

The American Medical Association (AMA) has updated the latest State of Obesity 2019 report which tabulates a damning trend. West Virginia is the worst offender. It has seen obesity rates surge from 14% in the 1990s to 38.1% of the adult population.

The state has the highest rates of diabetes at 15.2% of the adult population, up from 6.7% in the 1990s. Of the 191,000 diabetes sufferers in WV, by 2030 there is expected to be over 282,000 with the disease.

Hypertension is also expected to surge from 24.2% in the 1990s to 43.5%. To that end heart disease is also forecast to jump from around 138,000 to over 659,000 people.

According to the most recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, adult obesity rates now exceed 35% in seven states, 30% in 29 states and 25% in 48 states.

The AMA notes,

Race, ethnicity, gender, income, education levels and where an adult lives all make a difference in how likely he or she is to have obesity. For example, the report found that:

  • Obesity rates are higher among Latinos (47%) and blacks (46.8%) than among whites (37.9%).
  • Women are more likely to have obesity than men, 41.1%versus 37.9%.
  • Women are also more likely to have severe obesity, 9.7% versus 5.6%.
  • Adults in rural areas are more likely to have obesity than those in metro areas, 34.2% versus 28.7%.
  • College graduates are less likely to be obese than those with less than a high school education, 22.2% versus 35.5%.
  • Adults with higher incomes are less likely to be obese. The obesity rate is 29.7% among those making 400% or more above the federal poverty line; the rate is 42.6% for those at 100 to 199% of the federal poverty line.

None of this makes for pleasant reading but the AMA calculates $149bn in extra medical costs annually and $66bn in lost productivity.

According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 18.5% of children and 39.6% of adults had obesity in 2015–2016. These are the highest rates ever documented by NHANES.

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The underlying causes of obesity are complex and interconnected, ranging from economic and policy dynamics to environmental influences, social norms, and individual and family factors.

High-calorie foods are less expensive and more available in some neighbourhoods; many communities lack safe, accessible places to walk, bike, and play; and children and adults are inundated by advertising for unhealthy foods and beverages.

Many Americans eat too few fruits and vegetables and consume too many calories in the form of highly processed foods, and fewer than half meet national guidelines for physical activity.

Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, sleep apnea, liver disease, kidney disease, gallbladder disease, and certain types of cancer.

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Seems like the pharmaceutical companies will continue to do well in America. Aussie company ResMed, which makes CPAP machines to treat sleep apnea is crushing it.

In rare support of Nike

Who could forget Nike’s political stunt in favour of the kneelers supporting BLM? Recall the millions it paid Colin Kaepernick to tell us about the bravery of those sacrificing everything if they believed in it. Social justice is a thang at Nike, at least among the marketing department. Naturally, it provoked a lot of anger from real Americans who served their country, some who paid for it with their lives. Taya Kyle, the war widow of legendary sniper Chris Kyle, wrote a stern letter to Nike which was on the mark.

Now some are taking Nike to task over the sponsorship contracts it holds with superstars, especially females. Nike does not appear to sacrifice everything, especially when it believes it.

Six-time track and field Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix penned an op-ed to The NY Times telling of the cold realities of re-contracting while considering having a child. Sadly the Nike contracting team is probably staffed with icy cold hard-nosed realists compared to the cuddly socially active marketing department.

33-yo Felix said Nike wanted to contract her 70% less after her pregnancy. She wanted the original value to stay in force even if she suffered slight underperformance in the months after childbirth. Her request is totally understandable. Surely Nike could have done some celebrity mother and child adverts to pluck at the heartstrings of the average person? Get all those mothers with newborns to sport a pair of Nike kicks and leotards as they push their strollers to yoga. Just the sort of mush that a marketing department craves.

High-end endorsements are extremely hard to get. The bigger the payout the higher the pressure and expectations thrust upon the star. Contracts are driven by athletic performance and the ability to drive sales off the back of it. These performance-based targets are likely to be written clearly in black and white. It sounds like Felix needed a much better sports agent to negotiate such clauses. Serena Williams had a child and her Nike endorsements rolled on unaffected. The tennis champ even narrated a “dream crazier” advert solely looking at women in sport.

Is Felix’s 70% haircut anything more than Nike’s endorsement team taking a view on her future performance when it comes to which brand ambassadors will keep driving sales? It must have made a judgement call that Felix was past her prime. If we looked at all the females sponsored by Nike, what rank is she within the long list of names? Usain Bolt hung up his golden boots at age 30.

It is unclear how many millions that Felix received from Nike every year. Sponsorship is slightly different from employment. There are lots of caveats in sports contracts which ensure that athletes behave responsibly “outside” the game to reflect the values of the organisation. One might feel some pity that the choice to have a child ruined her contract terms but Nike has not done anything illegal.

It is unlikely that any two Nike superstar endorsement contracts are the same. Michael Jordan ended up with his own brand within Nike. Undoubtedly he was paid better than an up and coming college NFL star. It is most likely that Serena Williams’ contract had many different term and conditions to Allyson Felix. If Felix signed her contract she took on all of the legalities within it, including the fine print. Unlike an employment contract, sponsorships terms can change on a whim.

The Nike sponsorship Rolodex is undoubtedly littered with stars – male and female – in their 30s, re-contracted at far lower rates than when they were in their prime. Felix wouldn’t be alone. Age, rather than maternity was probably the bigger driver for the Nike decision makers. The world of sports is brutal. Unless one is a Valentino Rossi of MotoGP fame, a Roger Federer/Serena Williams in tennis or an Usain Bolt in track & field, ongoing sponsorship tends to fade as these stars get put out to pasture.

Yet we are not Nike and we do not have the full facts of how it grants its limited marketing dollars. Perhaps we should ask why Adidas or Puma aren’t beating a path to Felix’s door to contract her and get some mileage out of the controversy? Nike knows the endorsement field probably better than most. The risk of her defection is minimal at best, therefore, Nike can drive hard bargains. Take it or leave it.

Child abuse in UK

How demented are these parents to brainwash their kids so shamelessly? Kids as young as 3yo went with their parents to read off their demands to Norwich Councilors. One mother read on behalf of her child the things that will save the planet:

1: don’t eat meat

2: don’t fly on planes

3: don’t cut down trees

4: really rich share their money

5: use more renewable energy

6: reuse and upcycle.

There is no other word for it – child abuse. Do these climate alarmists honestly believe these kids came up with this activism on their own? Did they just happen to read a copy of UNIPCC climate bible instead of Spot, the magical dog? It’s one thing to force feed green vegetables but a whole other thing to force feed green propaganda.

To steal the innocence away from kids and fill their heads with this climate extinction rubbish is utter madness.

Who doesn’t have a memory as a young kid about imaginary monsters under the bed? Naturally our parents assured us they didn’t exist. The parents in the video within the link are advocating sticking imaginary fiction inside their heads, denying their right to innocence.

Maybe the University or Mons can hand out some more honorary doctorates to these kids like all those participation trophies which seem the norm nowadays.

If climate scientists were surgeons would you let them operate on you?

Why do our politicians continually recycle and peddle climate experts that have made so many dud predictions? If they were major organ transplant surgeons with this record of failure, would you ask them to operate on you?

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government has stumped up $142,000 to hire the Brisbane Convention Centre for former VP Al Gore to lecture on a subject where his prophecies have been way off the mark. The Office of Environment has chosen not to release the full costings. Now that Adani is back on, it makes them look even more stupid for inviting a quack.

Gore made ridiculous statements that Arctic sea ice could be completely gone by 2014. It’s still there. Thicker too.

Who could forget his mysterious absence from the 2009 Copenhagen UN COP summit when the Climategate scandal unfolded.

The National Center for Public Policy Research obtained Gore’s electricity usage information through public records requests and conversations with the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In powering his home, Gore still greatly outpaces most Americans in energy consumption. The findings were shocking:

• The past year, Gore’s home energy use averaged 19,241 kilowatt hours (kWh) every month, compared to the U.S. household average of 901 kWh per month.3,4
• Gore guzzles more electricity in one year than the average American family uses in 21 years.5
• In September of 2016, Gore’s home consumed 30,993 kWh in just one month – as much energy as a typical American family burns in 34 months.
• During the last 12 months, Gore devoured 66,159 kWh of electricity just heating his pool. That is enough energy to power six average U.S. households for a year.
• From August 2016 through July 2017, Gore spent almost $22,000 on electricity bills.6
• Gore paid an estimated $60,000 to install 33 solar panels. Those solar panels produce an average of 1,092 kWh per month, only 5.7% of Gore’s typical monthly energy consumption.

There is an irony in Palaszczuk’s backflip over Adani. Here she was thinking that Shorten would win and that her anti-coal activist environment team could get some status from Gore to kill it off for good.

Now the cost to save her political career far outweighs the planet. Tells us all we need to know.

She might be the 2nd but by far the worst

Theresa May will resign. Finally. Utter disaster in the top job. No conviction. No moral authority. No judgment. Little support from her colleagues. No respect for the referendum. Destroyer of the Conservatives. Duplicitous EU supporter. Prepared to propose a deal to submit the British people which might as well have been an unconditional surrender to Brussels. No-one will miss her vacuous leadership. Probably the worst PM in UK history.

She may like to think that she was “the second female prime minister, but certainly not the last” but what has gender got to do with it? 17.4mn Brits would have been happy to have a transgender PM if ze could have executed Brexit. Identity politics was the last thing on their minds.

When the next female PM graces 10 Downing St it is likely she’ll seek inspiration from Maggie not May.

Keep calm and move along.

Does apathy come before extinction?

NSW Greens politician Cate Faehrmann wrote of her disappointment at the low numbers attending the school climate strike today. CM wonders whether apathy is the penultimate stage to extinction?

CM finds it hard to reconcile how Faehrmann has only just started to realize there is a need to “develop new strategies.

She wrote,

Not a massive crowd at today’s Strike 4 Climate in Sydney and I’m sure our opponents will use that against us. However, it’s not surprising so close to a demoralising election result for us climate activists. It doesn’t mean we stop protesting. We have to keep going.

For now though, we take stock, recover and then get back to work on building support for urgent action to address the climate emergency upon us. That means absolutely continuing to campaign like we know how, because the hundreds of thousands of you who have been working for climate action have been bloody effective in raising the issue to the top of the national agenda. However, we also have to develop new strategies to reach new audiences to win. We need to build new alliances and develop a greater understanding of people’s motivations and values. We need to be prepared to work with everyone over the next few years because as long as we continue to frame this as a ‘fight’ on climate change against the conservatives, winning for the ‘right’ is stopping genuine action.

It’s going to be the toughest thing we’ve ever done but we have to broaden support beyond those who voted for climate action last weekend. Do you think it’s possible? How? I’d really love your thoughts on this.

Here’s a suggestion – try debating in open forums with facts not feelings. No hysteria. It will really help. Belittling skeptics by screaming through megaphones and brainwashing children aren’t activities that win over the majority of the public you wish to sway.