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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For years Gillette has shown what it believes is the best a man can get.
In a new ad, the company is now asking the question: “is this the best a man can be?”
In the two-minute short film titled “We Believe,” the company intercuts vignettes of dad-approved bullying, the verbal and physical harassment of women and other examples of what they say is toxic masculinity.
The debate is raging already as some applaud the company for the message in a #MeToo era.
Ryan Hastman tweets the ad is “really good. It isn’t anti-male.”
But others say it clumps all men into one deplorable basket.
Here in Philly, almost everyone CBS3 spoke with seemed impressed by it.
“They’re addressing it head on, and that could have an impact someday,” said one man.
“I’m considering buying Gillette now because I need a shave,” added another man.
“There is a great message, especially about the ‘Me Too’ movement,” said a woman.
Dr. David Reibstein, a marketing professor at the Wharton School of Business, agrees.
“This is really a public interest statement,” says Reibstein.
He says there is no reason why a multi-billion dollar company should steer away from a message it feels is important.
“They are trying to take some of their airtime and spin it on a positive message,” adds Reibstein.
He says the negative reaction from some likely won’t hurt Gillette, especially because of what the commercial promotes.
But should a shaving company even take a step into this social responsibility sphere?
“That’s the second criticism. They’re trying to capitalize on something that is out there. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but I don’t know if that is really bad,” he says.
Now, some people online are saying the plan to boycott the brand.
One person tweeted, “I know your heart is in the right place, but there is a line and that line is where my razor blades start issuing me moral instructions.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for Gillette says they have no plans to pull the advertisement.