Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Death By Facebook: Bic Pen Edition

Bic Pens really needs to pay attention. The company has a history of FAILS when it comes to women's issues and gender stereotypes.  If you need a history refresher, watch this Ellen segment that happened after Bic's release of the Bic Pen for Her.   I'll let the video do the talking on that one.

But this weekend, in honor of South Africa's National Women's Day, the company committed another huge faux pas.  The pen manufacturer posted a photo on its Facebook page that is cringe-worthy, especially in the light that it is supposed to be honoring women!  The post read, "Look like a girl.  Act like a lady.  Think like a man.  Work like a boss."  Yikes.   Is this really telling us that women, young ones especially, excel at looking good, while men excel at thinking?? Why would a brand ever want to send this message?

As you can imagine, the social media world did not take nicely to this, with millions of comments and rebuttals on Facebook, Twitter and even mock reviews on the company's Amazon products.  Per usual, the offending post was removed and apologies were issued. Bringing us to another nugget that I find interesting about this occurrence.  Originally, Bic's apology mentioned that it found this quote on a popular Women In Business blog site.  There, you will see that it was in fact used, way back in 2012, but received thumbs ups and likes on that platform. 

This got me thinking.  Why is the same quote received as positive and empowering when posted in a women's blog but received as obvious buffoonery when posted by a brand?

Do you think there is a difference?  Is this an offensive comment either way, or is it better when it is posted by a woman in a blog?

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