RE: Gillette "We Believe"

We have received calls and messages from customers this week asking what our stance is on Gillette’s recent “The Best Men Can Be” campaign. Some asked how we felt about this ad that  “attacks men.”

We watched the video. We read what Gillette had to say about it. Here’s what we think about it:

In case you aren’t in the know… On January 13th, Gillette published a video ad titled “We Believe.” In the accompanying web page titled “The Best Men Can Be,” they acknowledge their role in shaping modern culture and their responsibility as an industry leader to promote “positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man.”

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. With that in mind, we have spent the last few months taking a hard look at our past and coming communication and reflecting on the types of men and behaviors we want to celebrate. We’re inviting all men along this journey with us – to strive to be better, to make us better, and to help each other be better.

We feel that Gillette’s message was delivered as respectfully as was possible given the format, and don’t find anything particularly objectionable about it. We certainly don’t see anything that could be construed as “attacking men” or “anti-man.” It very explicitly urges men to stand up to--and for--each other by calling out harmful behaviors. The amount of backlash Gillette has received demonstrates that the underlying issue--a pervasive culture of toxic masculinity--is very present and real.

We want to commend Gillette for trying to do the right thing. Not only are they owning past transgressions, they are being proactive in affecting positive change in our industry. Sure, it’s an ad to sell razors, but their position on these issues matters-- they have a huge audience and money to spend on messaging!

It isn’t often that we get to say this, but we agree with Gillette! We all have a lot of work to do, and we at Portland Razor Company are committed to building a community of which we are proud to be a part.