Why Kleenex Will Be Rebranding Their ‘Mansize’ Tissues
When was the last time you saw an advertisement that was really, really sexist? Clearly, we are now living in a day and age in which advertisers are attempting to “do better.” That said, even little kids are starting to see that the issue is a common one. Did someone say, “Loved by kids, approved by mums?” We’re looking at you, Coco Pops…
One of the most recent marketing campaigns that has been accused of employing sexist tactics belongs to none other than Kimberly-Clark’s Kleenex brand. The company released a new variety of the paper staple that got a whole lot of attention–and not because the product was super absorbent.
Consumers became angry with the company because they decided to give these new tissues this puzzling name–Kleenex Mansize Tissues. Apparently, the powers that be at Kimberly-Clark developed larger-than-normal tissues and, when it came time to decide on a name, they landed on ‘Mansize.’
You know, because men are bigger than women. Or, maybe they just produce more snot than women do…
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Internet had a field day with the marketing flub:
Hi @Kleenex_UK. My 4yo son asked me what was written here. Then he asked, why are they called mansize? Can girls, boys & mummies use them? I said: I don’t know & yes of course. He suggests you should call them “very large tissues”. It is 2018 pic.twitter.com/SeOg32RsDV
— Lisa Hancox (@LisaMHancox) October 10, 2018
Blatant sexism aside, that aforementioned scenario sounds like a pretty horrifying one. Hancox is lucky that her 4-year-old was able to come to such a kumbaya-esque solution on his own. Most of the 4-year-olds that we know would follow that response up with about a million headache-inducing “whys.”
Now, if that’s not relatable, you don’t have a preschooler…
But, back to the product; along with the odd ‘Mansize’ name, Kimberly-Clark seemed to dig themselves even deeper into a ditch by describing the tissues as being “confidently strong” and “comfortingly soft.” While we do have to admit that it’s sort of refreshing to hear a male-centric product (even if they are tissues) being described as “soft,” something just feels wrong about the whole presentation.
As with all viral complaints these days, Kimberly-Clark was forced to address the issue in a statement to The Telegraph. The company said that it in “no way suggests” that being both “soft and strong” was “an exclusively masculine trait.” They also said that they do not “believe that the Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality.”
Well, it sounds like there are quite a few people in the Twitterverse that disagree with you, Kimberly-Clark!
Now that you’re fully enlightened as to what a ‘Mansize’ tissue is, it’s time for you to hear about how Kleenex intends on fixing its PR problem. To get the scoop on how this product will be re-marketed, be sure to watch the video below.
We can’t wait to hear your take on this Kleenex controversy! Do you think that the product’s name is sexist? Do you think that Kimberly-Clark was correct to change it? Do you know of any other companies that use sexist marketing tools?