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'Toxic masculinity' not harmful to Procter & Gamble Co. sales growth

P&G improves revenue outlook for 2019
Posted at 9:38 AM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 15:06:14-05

Procter & Gamble Co.’s controversial ad campaign about “toxic masculinity” isn’t chasing customers away from its iconic shaving brand Gillette, Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller told reporters Wednesday.

“Retail sales trends are in line with pre-campaign levels and Gillette Shave Club continues to grow sales and users,” Moeller said. “It’s a part of our effort to connect more meaningfully with younger consumer groups. Early results, when you look at the age group specifics both externally and internally, reflect that we’re accomplishing that objective.”

Moeller’s comments came in a media briefing to discuss second-quarter earnings at P&G, which exceeded analyst expectations on sales and profit – prompting shares to rise more than 4 percent in pre-market trades.

P&G earned a $3.2 billion profit on revenue of $17.4 billion in the three months ending Dec. 31. P&G earned $1.22 per share for its owners, 4 cents better than consensus estimates by Wall Street analysts. Organic sales, excluding one-time impacts from acquisitions and foreign exchange, grew 4 percent. That’s much better than the 2.6 percent analysts were expecting.

P&G increased its organic sales outlook for the full year, telling investors to expect up to 4 percent growth, compared to previous guidance of up to 3 percent.

P&G delivered strong organic sales growth in every major business segment except grooming, which declined 3 percent because of price cuts aimed at reversing market share losses.

The quarter ended two weeks before Gillette launched its campaign, “The Best Men Can Be,” which takes a stand against bullying and sexual harassment by putting a #MeToo era slant on Gillette’s well-known slogan, “The Best a Man Can Get.”

The ad is up to 25 million YouTube views, triggering more than 1 million dislikes and social media calls for a boycott of P&G.

Moeller said Gillette isn’t losing market share in an environment in which “societal trends of less shaving” have led to no growth in the sale of grooming products globally.

“We’re continuing to hold our strong positions,” he said. “Gillette Shave Club is the only club growing consumers over the last six months.”