Last week, Braun U.K. became the latest company to face backlash over transgender issues after it featured a promo showcasing a shirtless woman who identifies as transgender and has visible mastectomy scars.
While many commenters appeared shocked by Braun’s open promotion of cosmetic double mastectomies, the German razor brand’s parent company, Procter & Gamble, has pushed a Left-wing social agenda on gender, diversity, and climate issues for years.
P&G, which was first formed in 1837 in Cincinnati, Ohio, has grown to be one of the largest companies in the world, with dozens of brands generating billions in revenue, reporting net sales of over $80 billion for fiscal year 2023.
The company’s embrace of radical gender ideology started back in the 1980s and 1990s when the company began addressing LGBT issues and became one of the first companies to add “sexual orientation” to its nondiscrimination policies.
Throughout the 2000s, the P&G would push gender and sexuality issues through advertising and by 2007 the company would take credit for showing the first male gay kiss on daytime TV in “As the World Turns,” a soap opera produced by the company.
Later, during the public battles over marriage, P&G urged the Supreme Court to overturn state laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman and later used its products to celebrate the Obergefell v. Hodges decision.
— Procter & Gamble (@ProcterGamble) June 26, 2015
By 2013, P&G began allocating benefits for employees to get sex change procedures. The company soon started to include transgender-identifying individuals into its advertising for American and global brands.
For example, deodorant brand Secret featured Karis Wilde, a man who identifies as a woman, putting on deodorant in a woman’s bathroom. “Dana finds the courage to show there’s no wrong way to be a woman,” the ad said.
The ad was released as controversies over men using women’s bathrooms came to the forefront after North Carolina Republicans attempted to block men from being allowed in women’s bathrooms if they identified as women.
That same year, the company announced a partnership with Tracey “Africa” Norman, a man who identifies as a woman, to promote the company’s Clairol Nice’n Easy brand.
“Clairol really believes in the power of hair color to transform you, and so do I,” Norman said. “It helped me feel feminine – like the real me. And being the real you is what the new Nice’n Easy campaign is about.”
At the same time, Vick’s, the P&G brand that makes of NyQuil and other over-the-counter medications, ran an ad in India featuring a man who identified as a woman caring for a young girl who said she wanted to be a lawyer when she grew up so she could fight for legal rights for her “mom.”
In the subsequent years, P&G brands would continue to run transgender-themed ads, including the infamous 2019 Gillette ad that featured a young woman who identified as a man learning to shave her face with her father.
The promotion of transgender ideology is an open part of P&G’s ad strategy, as made evident by partnerships the company has made and comments from top executives.
In March 2020, P&G announced a push for “LGBTQ+ inclusive brand building” with a partnership announced with leftist group GLAAD. The partnership was specially designed to shift cultural attitudes and expand LGBT branding.
“We are still very much at the beginning of a broad cultural shift that is more fully embracing the LGBTQ+ community,” said Alexandra Keith, the CEO of P&G Beauty. “As part of our Citizenship practice, we are bringing LGBTQ+ inclusivity to our brands in a range of ways, and it is an evolution of brand building. This is a reflection of our culture, consumer expectations and the shifting role that companies play in shaping dialogue about visibility, understanding, normalization, and shared humanity.”
This partnership was announced just three months after P&G executive Marc Prichard and GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis appeared at the World Economic Forum to discuss “LGBTQ-inclusive brand building.”
“We’re taking it to the next level with a new approach to LGBTQ+ marketing, by building it into the fabric of how we build brands — versus ‘bolting it on’ as a separate effort,” Prichard said.
GLAAD and P&G would go on to create a report on “LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Advertising and Media,” which advocated for more LGBT presence in advertising. After the report was released, P&G announced a plan to “develop best in class practices and standards for LGBTQ+ inclusion in advertising and marketing” alongside the Association of National Advertisers’ Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM).
P&G would be named the LGBT marketer of the year in 2020 by Out & Equal, and the company pledges to “amplify marginalized voices and bring visibility to the communities that need it the most.
The “inclusive” mindset adopted by P&G has been integrated into global advertising networks as well, including the World Federation of Advertisers, a group that represents 90% of global marketing communications spending.
In the wake of backlash to Bud Light for partnering with transgender-identifying social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney, the WFA ran an article saying companies needed to make a choice to not back down from conservative backlash.
“Brands don’t have a responsibility to change the world. I’m not looking for my toilet paper brand or my favourite beer to create peace in the Middle East or ensure LGBTQ equality. But I am looking for them not to side with people who actively want me silenced at best, and dead at worst. This Pride month you’ve got an important decision to make: I hope you choose to fight the good fight instead of myopically worrying about your Q4 earnings,” Arwa Mahdawi wrote for the WFA.
Additionally, P&G is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, which is described as an initiative to “address the challenge of harmful content on digital media platforms and its monetization via advertising.”
GARM’s “Brand Safety Floor + Suitability Framework” stipulates that it is not safe for brands to advertise with or have business with entities that incite “hate” or “aggression” based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
While conservatives pulled off one of the most successful boycotts in U.S. history over Bud Light’s promotion of Dylan Mulvaney, companies have also proved pliable before when the Left flexed its muscles.
Back in 2019, P&G brand Always removed the female symbol from its menstruation products after complaints that “non-binary and trans folks” use the products. Even feminine products could not be simply associated with women, according to some activists.
Likewise, Harry’s Razors previously publicly attacked and pulled advertising from The Daily Wire after host Michael Knowles made comments critical of transgender ideology, in part leading Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing to launch Jeremy’s Razors.
It remains to be seen if the corporate culture wars resolve, but large segments of the corporate world currently seem resolved to continue promoting Left-wing social mores and alienating a significant number of Americans.