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Scotch-Brite logo has an image of a woman with a bindi alongside.
Scotch-Brite logo has an image of a woman with a bindi alongside.

What Scotch-Brite-maker said when a man pointed out the gender marker in logo

  • Karthik Srinivasan, a communications strategy consultant, recently took to LinkedIn to call out Scotch-Brite for the gender marker in their logo
  • Scotch-Brite logo has an image of a woman with a bindi alongside

At a time when men and women are striding ahead shoulder-to-shoulder in almost every field even society and brand managers are now waking up to the stereotypes gender roles. Here you have an instance of a deep rooted patriarchal mindset that so far had been acceptable since 1990. Now it has been brought to the notice of the brand and it's on the way to course correction. We are talking about Scotch-Brite logo, which has the image of a woman with a bindi alongside. And now the company has relented and promised to fix it in the months to come.

Karthik Srinivasan, a communications strategy consultant, recently took to LinkedIn to call out Scotch-Brite for the gender marker in their logo. He soon received a reply from Atul Mathur, Head of Marketing, Consumer Business at 3M India, Scotch-Brite’s parent company.

In a reply to Srinivasan, Atul Mathur wrote, “You have correctly surmised that this is a legacy vector, and that it is undoubtedly time to move on from regressive beliefs. Recognising this, we started down the road to drive behavioural change externally." He also shared a link to an advertisement from a series by the company called ‘Ghar Sabka, Toh Kaam Bhi Sabhi Ka?'

He concluded his post by saying, “ I am pleased to inform you that you will see the logo change a few months down the line."

Read Atul Mathur’s reply here

Read Atul Mathur’s reply here.
View Full Image
Read Atul Mathur’s reply here.

Hi Karthik,

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.

Recognising this, we started down the road to drive behavioural change externally. Do you remember the TV advertisement series for Scotch-Brite called ‘Ghar Sabka, Toh Kaam Bhi Sabhi Ka’?

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.

Read Karthik Srinivasan full post on Scotch-Brite here

Read Karthik Srinivasan full post on Scotch-Brite here.
View Full Image
Read Karthik Srinivasan full post on Scotch-Brite here.

Pushpanjali Banerji recently shared with me a photo of a pack of Scotch-Brite and after I noticed what she pointed to, I couldn’t unsee it!

The logo has the vector image of a woman with a bindi!

He wondered whether all products from Scotch-Brite have this 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."

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.

Did you wonder - how about Scotch-Brite products from other countries? I did.

Meanwhile, spokesperson of 3M India has said that Scotch Brite’s new logo that will be released in the next few months, will not display the image of a woman

"3M India would like to apologise to anyone whose sentiments were hurt due to the controversy on comments by our Scotch Brite manager being taken out of context. 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. 3M is committed to having a portfolio of brands that celebrates diversity. We recognise that the current packaging of Scotch-Brite carries a legacy vector that do not reflect the sentiments and mindset of today’s consumers,"Spokesperson, 3M India said.

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