A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash, with accusations that it talks down to men and groups calling for a boycott. But Gillette says it doesn't mind sparking a discussion. Since it debuted this week, the Internet-only ad has garnered nearly 19 million views on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and that amounts to a great deal of free marketing.
The two-minute ad from Procter & Gamble's razor brand shows men and boys engaging in bullying and sexual harassment, and encourages men to "say the right thing" and "act the right way." Taking on bullying, sexual harassment and toxic masculinity is a big task for a razor brand.
The criticism over the commercial is similar in nature to that received by by major advertisers like Pepsi and Nike when they attempted to take on social issues.
However, Gillette says on its website, "It's time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man."
As part of The Best Men Can Be campaign, Gillette say will be donating $1 million per year over a three-year period to to various non-profit organizations across the country which have programs "designed to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal 'best' and become role models for the next generation."
There has been no shortage of comments pro and con from Twitter users. We have included some of those tweets below the ad itself.