Thank you Reebok. Where would we be without your lessons in telling us what is appropriate in the PC world? While many view that infamous line as one of a dinosaur (in hindsight it is a dramatic improvement over other locker room talk) I’m sure many of you have encountered women (and men) who warmly welcome comments about a new haircut, attire or shoes. Many of you haven’t seen those people march right into the HR department to lodge a formal complaint. One would imagine if Brad Pitt or George Clooney had said it then the press would spin it another way. Where was Reebok when Hillary Clinton joked about wanting to watch a replay of Lenny Kravitz’s wardrobe malfunction that exposed his Prince Albert? Surely an opportunity to protest against the brazen sexism against men.
However what is it with corporates that feel they have a need to enforce views on same-sex marriage, LGBT, sexism, climate abatement or religion? I don’t fly Qantas because it’s CEO pushes the agenda on passengers and staff, I don’t drink Starbucks because of its religious beliefs and I don’t need Unilever to preach it’s diversity. All I’m after is the product that serves the need. Not wrapped in political point scoring
In Reebok’s case the Institute for Global Labor & Human Rights made allegations in the past that the sportswear company was exploiting workers (80% female) in El Salvador. The company has denied the allegations after a thorough investigation.
In any event, should Reebok make huge profits on the back of these remarks to the French First Lady will the product planners secretly pray for the next “gaffe” to help the brand’s performance? In a round about way Reebok is exploiting a supposed defence of women’s rights to boost its bottom line. Perhaps it should donate every cent earned from the campaign on awareness? Or maybe upping the pay of its factory workers? Then people could remark about its corporate responsibility was “in such good shape” That would be beautiful.