Actions meet consequences. While parent company Proctor & Gamble posted strong sales, Gillette posted a net loss. Of a cool $8 Billion. Billion with a B. Reuters soft-pedaled the announcement, explaining razor sales are down overall across the board due to different shaving technology and men generally shaving less than AOC tells the truth. Okay. Cool. But $8 Billion in one year?
P&G reported a net loss of about $5.24 billion, or $2.12 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, due to an $8 billion non-cash writedown of Gillette. For the same period last year, P&G’s net income was $1.89 billion, or 72 cents per share.
The charge was also driven by more competition over the past three years and a shrinking market for blades and razors as consumers in developed markets shave less frequently. Net sales in the grooming business, which includes Gillette, have declined in 11 out of the last 12 quarters.
I’ll buy some of this. Yes, there is increased competition within the shaving market. Yes, I have noticed men are shaving less frequently. No, I’m not going to give my opinion on all these bearded men. But when you hear “Gillette” now, what comes to mind? Razors? Shaving? Boys with beards? Or this?
The best marketing and branding sell an idea with their product. Gillette used to sell the idea of confidence. They did a reversal with this little number, selling the idea that men need to do better and stop being such creeps praying on fair maidens. That’s not selling confidence, it’s selling condescension. Who wants to be lectured to about how bad their gender is? No one I know.
So, like everyone else to opine on Gillette’s lackluster economic performance, I have to agree that increased competition or not, assuming the worst of your customer base probably isn’t the best way to turn a profit. But it is the best way to light pallets of cash on fire. My how it glows.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with standing against bullying or sexual harassment. But perhaps Gillette could’ve struck a different tone by portraying men of honor, heroism, and strength to do it. Like this: Egard Watches Responds to Gillette The Best A Man Can Be Ad with Video Honoring Men. Just as an idea. For next time. If the brand can be saved. See also Gillette Creates Advertisement Featuring Trans ‘Man’ Shaving.