Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

Top Story CP

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

Published

NEW YORK — A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash, with accusations that it talks down to men and groups calling for a boycott. But Gillette says it doesn’t mind sparking a discussion. Since it debuted Monday, the Internet-only ad has garnered nearly 19 million views on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — a level of buzz that any brand would covet.

The two-minute ad from Procter & Gamble’s razor brand shows men and boys engaging in bullying and sexual harassment and encourages men to “say the right thing” and “act the right way.” Taking on bullying, sexual harassment and toxic masculinity is a big task for a razor brand. Many critics took to social media saying it was insulting to men and laden with stereotypes.

The uproar comes as Gillette battles upstarts like Harry’s, Dollar Shave Club and others for millennial dollars. Gillette controlled about 70 per cent of the U.S. market a decade ago. Last year, its market share dropped to below 50 per cent, according to Euromonitor.

Allen Adamson, co-founder of branding firm Metaforce, called the ad a “hail Mary” pass from the 117-year-old company. But he added that online buzz, whether positive or negative, rarely makes a long-term difference for a marketer since memory fades quickly.

“Getting noticed and getting buzz is no easy task, and they’ve managed to break through,” Adamson said. “Most advertisers advertise, and no one notices because there is so much noise in the marketplace, so just getting noticed Is a big win, especially for low-interest category like a razor.”

On the flip side, it probably won’t sell many razors either, he said.

Some cheers were mixed in with the social media boos. In a tweet, actress Jessica Chastain thanked Gillette “for this reminder of the beauty of men. I’m so moved by your call to action.”

The ad echoes other attempts by major advertisers to take on social issues. Pepsi pulled an ad in 2017 showing Kendall Jenner giving a cop a Pepsi during a protest and apologized after an outcry that it trivialized “Black Lives Matter” and other protest movements. Nike polarized the nation with an ad featuring ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick who started a wave of protests among NFL players of police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues.

Sales weren’t affected in either of those cases. When controversy does affect sales, it is usually over something more substantive than an ad. Lululemon saw sales tumble in 2013 after a string of PR disasters including manufacturing problems that caused their pricey yoga pants to become see through and fat-shaming comments from their founder. But even that was short lived.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, said that much like Nike’s Kaepernick ad, Gillette likely knew the ad would garner online debate.

“Nike knew what they were getting themselves into,” Torossian said. The ad with Kapernick was “making a lot of noise, and it can’t be a surprise to (Gillette) that this is making a lot of noise.”

P&G, one of the world’s largest advertisers, is known for its anthemic spots that appeal to emotions during the Olympics and other events, often aimed at women, such as the tear-jerking “Thank You Mom” Olympics branding campaign and Always “Like a Girl” 2014 Super Bowl ad.

Pankaj Bhalla, North America brand director on Gillette says the controversy was not the intended goal of the ad, which is part of a larger campaign that takes a look at redefining Gillette’s longtime tagline “The Best a Man Can Get,” in different ways. Another online ad features one-handed NFL rookie Shaquem Griffin.

While he doesn’t want to lose sales or a boycott over the ad, “we would not discourage conversation or discussion because of that,” he said.

“Our ultimate aim is to groom the next generation of men, and if any of this helps even in a little way we’ll consider that a success,” he said.

Larry Chiagouris, marketing professor at Pace University, is skeptical.

“Treating people with respect, who can argue with that, but they’re kind of late to the party here, that’s the biggest problem,” he said. “It’s gratuitous and self-serving.”

Mae Anderson, The Associated Press

Top Story CP

First-time novelist Ian Williams wins $100K Scotiabank Giller Prize

Published

on

TORONTO — First-time novelist Ian Williams singled out a special member of the audience as he accepted the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize — Canadian literary icon Margaret Atwood.

Williams choked back tears as he took to the stage to receive the honour at a glitzy Toronto gala on Monday night for his debut novel, “Reproduction.”

“I’ve got notes here for people I need to thank, but maybe I’ll just start with my heart first,” Williams said. “Margaret Atwood over there is the first book I bought with my own money at a bookstore in Brampton.”

“Reproduction” traces the ties that bind a cross-cultural chosen family in Williams’ hometown of Brampton, Ont.

The tale begins when a sober-minded teenager from a small island nation and the listless heir to a German family fortune meet in the hospital room where their mothers lay dying.

From there, Williams unspools a narrative so entangled it strains against novelistic convention.

Jury members praised the Vancouver-based writer for his “masterful unfolding of unexpected connections and collisions between and across lives otherwise separated by race, class, gender and geography.”

“Reproduction,” published by Random House Canada, was a finalist for this year’s Amazon First Novel Award.

Williams’ short-fiction collection, “Not Anyone’s Anything” won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award in 2012, and he’s been a rising star in poetry circles. His 2013 collection, “Personals,” was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award.

Williams was the 2014-2015 writer-in-residence in the University of Calgary’s distinguished writers program, and has held numerous other fellowships and residencies.

He is currently a Griffin Poetry Prize trustee and associate professor of poetry in University of British Columbia’s creative writing program.

Williams beat out titles by David Bezmozgis, Michael Crummey, Megan Gail Coles, Alix Ohlin and Steven Price.

Before the Giller winner was announced, a who’s who of Canada’s cultural scene walked the Giller red carpet at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto.

Giller executive director Elana Rabinovitch said this year’s short list was distinct not only because there were six finalists instead of the usual five, but for the range of time periods, styles and geography the books represent.

“(The finalists) come from everywhere and these voices are strong and powerful and resonant,” Rabinovitch said.

Atwood said she chose to celebrate her 80th birthday at the literary bash at Rabinovitch’s behest.

“Elana made me do it,” Atwood told reporters with a laugh.

As her global book tour for “The Testaments” winds down, Atwood said she’s hoping to catch up on the latest Canadian reads.

“There’s some interesting non-fiction books as well, and I would say quite a lot of fiction,” Atwood said. “I haven’t ploughed my way through it, but I will.”

Singer-songwriter and actress Jann Arden, who hosted the televised night’s festivities, serenaded Atwood with a birthday tune.

“Happy birthday to you. You write such good books,” Arden crooned. “Now Canada’s famous for more than just maple syrup.”

The six finalists were chosen from 117 submissions by a jury consisting of Canadian writers Donna Bailey Nurse, Randy Boyagoda and Jose Teodoro, Scottish-Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna and Bosnian-American author Aleksandar (Sasha) Hemon.

The Giller awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English, and $10,000 to each of the finalists.

Last year’s winner was Esi Edugyan for “Washington Black.”

This report by The Canadian Press was originally published Nov. 18, 2019.

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press








Continue Reading

Top Story CP

Alberta government firing election commissioner who was investigating leadership

Published

on

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government is firing the province’s election commissioner, but says it’s not because he is investigating the party and has fined it more than $200,000.

Finance Minister Travis Toews says the decision to end Lorne Gibson’s contract is strictly about saving money.

“This restructuring is about finding efficiencies and ensuring that we have the most defensible process and structure going forward,” Toews said Monday.

“This structural change will not affect ongoing investigations. We believe that it’s critical to protect the integrity of democracy in this province.”

Toews replied “absolutely not” when asked if Gibson’s investigation into the UCP and the party’s 2017 leadership campaign played any role in the decision to fire him.

Gibson’s firing as election watchdog is contained in an omnibus bill introduced in the house Monday that is aimed at reducing spending and duplication across government.

If the bill passes, Gibson’s contract — which currently runs to 2023 — will be terminated as soon as it is proclaimed into law. His job and five staff positions are then to be transferred to current chief electoral officer Glen Resler at an expected saving of $1 million over five years.

Resler would be responsible for hiring a new election commissioner.

Toews said it would be the decision of that office whether to proceed with existing investigations, which would include the ongoing one into the United Conservatives.

“The chief electoral officer will have full ability to rehire the existing commissioner (if he so chooses),” Toews said.

“We will have absolutely no input into that.”

Resler is in overall charge of running Alberta’s elections, but in early 2018 the former NDP government created a separate arm’s-length election commissioner to specifically investigate violations in fundraising and advertising.

The New Democrats then hired Gibson. He was making $195,000 a year.

Gibson’s highest profile investigation has been into the 2017 United Conservative leadership race won by Jason Kenney. Kenney became premier when the UCP was voted into power earlier this year.

The investigation focuses on the campaign of leadership candidate Jeff Callaway. Internal documents have revealed that Kenney’s campaign team worked in lockstep with Callaway’s campaign as Callaway attacked Kenney’s main rival, Brian Jean. Callaway dropped out of the race late to throw his support to Kenney.

Documents show Kenney’s team shared talking points and a time for Callaway to drop out, but Kenney has said that is normal communication among campaign teams.

Gibson has issued more than $200,000 in fines tied to fundraising violations in the Callaway campaign. Some donors to Callaway’s campaign broke the law by donating money provided to them by someone else.

The RCMP has been conducting a separate investigation into whether voter ID fraud was committed in the leadership race.

Gibson has a fractious history with Alberta’s conservative governments. He served as the chief electoral officer from 2006 to 2009. His contract was not renewed by the Progressive Conservative government of the time after he spotlighted problems with the electoral process, including that the PCs were appointing officials who monitored ballot boxes at voting stations.

Gibson sued unsuccessfully for wrongful dismissal.

In the spring of 2018, the then-Opposition UCP, tried to filibuster Gibson’s appointment as the election commissioner. It questioned whether the role was needed and, if so, whether Gibson, given his testy relations with past governments, was the right person to fill it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2019.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

november, 2019

tue19nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu21novAll Daysun24Festival of Trees(All Day)

thu21nov6:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Trees - Preview Dinner6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

fri22nov8:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Wines8:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov9:00 am12:00 pmFestival Family Bingo - 1st time ever!9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov6:00 pm11:00 pmMistletoe Magic !6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov8:00 pmRed Deer Nov 23 - Calgary's THIRD CHAMBER - EP release show "Harvesting Our Decay"8:00 pm

sun24nov9:00 am12:00 pmBreakfast with Santa9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

mon25nov1:30 am2:30 pmPlanning A Calmer Christmas1:30 am - 2:30 pm

mon25nov6:30 pm8:30 pmRustic Succulent Box WorkshopUnique Workshop to create Succulent Box6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

tue26nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop InDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu28nov7:30 pm11:00 pmA special Christmas Musical Event at The KrossingBig Hank's Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas7:30 pm - 11:00 pm MST The Krossing, 5114 48 Avenue

Trending

X