After L'Oréal, and Fair & Lovely came under fire for promoting discrimination against people with dark skin tone, another brand has come under the scanner, this time for gender-targeted marketing.
As several brands wake up to the stereotype gender roles, Scotch-Brite has now decided to change its logo, which shows the face of a woman wearing bindi, after being called out for it on social media.
In a viral LinkedIn post shared on July 15, Karthik Srinivasan posted a series of pictures of Scotch-Brite products that feature the logo on their packaging and triggered a massive debate.
"The logo has the vector image of a woman with a bindi!" he wrote, 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 noted.
He explained how only the products related to cleaning and household depict a woman's face with the logo.
"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!" Srinivasan wrote.
Urging the company to amend their logo, Srinivasan concluded: "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."
"This was an eyeopener! This is a perfect example of sublime subconscious gender stereotyping in the minds," one person wrote in the comments section.
"While it's an interesting observation that you make, the fact remains that majority of Indian households hire domestic help to do most of their cleaning activities. And majority of these domestic help are women. So yes a large part of the end user of Scotch-Brite products are women," another social media user commented.
Scotch-Brite, however, took cognisance of the post and promised change.
"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," wrote Atul Mathur, Head Of Marketing - Consumer Business at 3M India.
"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," he said.
3M, in a 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 recognize that household chores are equally shared by all family members, and we understand the need to make the product packaging gender neutral."