Scotch-Brite targeted for its sexist logo; brand responds on social media

Sakal Times News Desk
Friday, 17 July 2020

His post has received over a thousand reactions and several comments, triggering a debate on the platform.

Scotch-Brite products that feature the logo on their packaging and captioned it "The logo has the vector image of a woman with a bindi!" while exclusively pointing out that only products like brooms, bathroom wipes and toilet brushes carried the logo. "While a lint roller does not carry this, other products like scrub pad/sponge, sink brush, broom, bathroom wipe, stainless steel scrub, toilet brush do carry it," he observed. 

According to the user, it appears as if only products related to cleaning and household appear with the logo of a woman's face he reacted.

"The gender marker is clear when you see that the lint roller, which has a man's coat in the product pack, doesn't have it!" wrote Srinivasan, adding that it seemed indicative of 3M's presumption about who must be using the cleaning products. 3M is Scotch-Brite's parent company and is headquartered in the United States. Urging the company to change their logo, Srinivasan concluded in his post by saying: "In 2020, such gender markers seem awkward and out of place. I sure hope the good folks at 3M take note of this legacy logo and update it."

His post has received over a thousand reactions and several comments, triggering a debate on the platform. "This was an eyeopener! This is a perfect example of sublime subconscious gender stereotyping in the minds," exclaimed one person in the comments section. "While it's an interesting observation that you make, the fact remains that the majority of Indian households hire domestic help to do most of their cleaning activities. And the majority of domestic help are women. So yes a large part of the end-user of Scotch-Brite products are women," another countered in reaction. Scotch-Brite, however, took note of the post and has promised change.

Atul Mathur, Head of Marketing - Consumer Business at 3M India, responded to it by agreeing that the company needed to move on from its legacy vector. The response from him mentioned, "At the very outset I wish to thank you for your insightful comment on the Scotch-Brite packaging. I head marketing in 3M India for our Consumer business. You have correctly surmised that this is a legacy vector and that it is undoubtedly time to move on from regressive beliefs." He added, "At the same time we also began to work internally on changing the brand vector. I am pleased to inform you that you will see the logo change a few months down the line."

3M, in an official statement, said, "We wish to clarify that Scotch Brite's new logo that will be released in the next few months will not display the image of a woman because we recognise that household chores are equally shared by all family members, and we understand the need to make the product packaging gender-neutral."

In India, the debate around racial discrimination forced Unilever to drop the word "fair" from its "Fair & Lovely" range of products and compelled Johnson & Johnson to stop selling its line of skin-whitening products. Meanwhile, matrimonial website also removed its skin colour filter after facing backlash from users.


Edited by:
Khevna Pandit

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