Marginalized Even During a Pandemic

We’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and – believe it or not – Clorox has an ad that markets disinfecting wipes only to moms. It’s a strange scenario for a major global manufacturer with one of its corporate responsibility goals as inclusion.

Granted, the ad first appeared in late 2019 but the image remains alive and well on the Internet.

You can learn a lot from Clorox’s Corporate Responsibility page. There it not only touts inclusion but other admirable objectives:

“We’re proud of our efforts to…strengthen our communities.”
“It’s about achieving success the right way…guided by our values.”

Sadly these examples are another example of corp speak – flowery language seen as an asset in the workplace, but lost by the time it reaches the consumer. Ignoring fathers strengthens communities? Achieving success the right way? Guided by values?

All of it seems a bit hollow.

The company has yet to learn from its mistakes, having endured several allegations of sexist marketing over the past two decades. Its most recent in 2009, featured during the TV show, “Mad Men,” showed a man’s white, lipstick-stained shirt with the caption, “Clorox. Getting ad guys out of hot water for generations.”

COVID-19, like laundry stains, knows no gender. It’s time for Clorox to back up its mission with advertisements that strengthen communities, families and parents who have supported it for over 100 years.