Simply days after veteran anchor and reporter Lisa LaFlamme was punted unceremoniously from CTV Information amidst accusations of age discrimination, one of many world’s largest magnificence manufacturers has launched a “Preserve the Gray” social media marketing campaign.
In a video posted on Instagram this week, Dove took goal at firms who squeeze older ladies out of their jobs.
“Ladies with gray hair are being edged out of the office. So Dove goes gray. Collectively we will assist ladies growing old fantastically on their very own phrases,” mentioned the message on the display.
LaFlamme introduced on Twitter Aug. 15 that she’d been let go as CTV’s anchor and chief information correspondent. Whereas the community mentioned the transfer was made for enterprise causes, a broadcast report quoted CTV Information chief Michael Melling as asking who “let Lisa’s hair go gray?”
LaFlamme, who’s 58, has mentioned the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic gave her the chance to let her previously-dyed hair go naturally gray.
LaFlamme declined to remark for this text.
BCE, which owns CTV, didn’t reply to requests for remark.
A senior government at Unilever Canada, which owns Dove, mentioned the timing was proper for the marketing campaign, which urges ladies to submit photos of their gray hair with the hashtag #keepthegrey.
“There’s quite a lot of dialogue about ageism proper now, and we wished to harness that power for good,” mentioned Leslie Golts, head of promoting for Unilever Canada’s magnificence and well-being division.
Golts mentioned Dove isn’t pulling any adverts from CTV or BCE on account of LaFlamme’s firing.
“Presently, we aren’t taking any particular choices of fixing our promoting plans,” Golts mentioned.
Whereas she wouldn’t reply straight whether or not the marketing campaign was impressed straight by LaFlamme’s expertise, Golts mentioned there must be a broader dialogue about ladies being discriminated towards for causes that don’t have anything to do with job efficiency.
“We frequently hear tales about discrimination associated to the wonder selections that ladies have made,” mentioned Golts. “And we actually wish to stand for change.”
As a part of the marketing campaign, Dove Canada is making a $100,000 donation to Catalyst, an advocacy group which helps ladies within the office.
Catalyst Canada’s government director Julie Cafley mentioned donations are essential to the group’s work.
“We admire contributions like Dove Canada’s that assist us proceed our efforts to create workplaces that work for everybody,” mentioned Cafley.
Cafley, nonetheless, wouldn’t touch upon whether or not it was acceptable for BCE CEO and president Mirko Bibic to proceed serving on Catalyst Canada’s advisory board within the wake of LaFlamme’s firing.
Advertising and marketing marketing consultant and writer Alan Middleton mentioned Dove’s determination to run Preserve The Gray was a no brainer for a model which has lengthy been seen as one of many extra progressive magnificence and cosmetics firms.
Middleton mentioned Dove’s earlier work similar to its body-positive “Actual Magnificence” marketing campaign made Preserve The Gray extra credible than it will have been from one other firm.
“If Dove had hastily began a marketing campaign on ageism that was outdoors the context of actual magnificence, I’d be suspicious. However this suits. It’s not out of nowhere,” mentioned Middleton, who suspects Dove probably had a few of the marketing campaign able to go even earlier than LaFlamme was fired.
“I’ve little doubt they already had this deliberate,” mentioned Middleton. “However I even have little doubt they accelerated the timing of this after what occurred to Lisa LaFlamme. It’s frankly nearly as if they paid CTV to do one thing pathologically silly.”
Whereas Preserve the Gray is sensible for a model like Dove, taking a stand on social points isn’t risk-free, mentioned Ken Wong, advertising and marketing professor at Queen’s College’s Smith Faculty of Enterprise. Merely put, mentioned Wong, manufacturers expose themselves to elevated scrutiny, and are susceptible to being known as out for hypocrisy.
“That’s the place Dove might have left itself a bit of bit susceptible. Is it sufficient to have this marketing campaign? When you’re actually towards it, why don’t you boycott promoting on CTV? When you’re actually towards it, why didn’t you make it an even bigger a part of your Actual Magnificence marketing campaign initially? And for those who’re actually directing it at older ladies, why did you in your response advert have a youthful lady who simply has gray suggestions?,” Wong requested.
Whereas admitting he was shocked by CTV’s determination to fireplace LaFlamme, Wong mentioned the community gained’t face any severe monetary penalties until advertisers get spooked by a backlash from shoppers.
“I believe advertisers will all the time do a wait and see,” mentioned Wong. “The factor with the company response, the advertisers’ response to her firing is it’s identical to the climate. All of us complain about it however no one does something.”
Correction — Aug. 24, 2022: Julie Cafley is the manager director at Catalyst Canada. A earlier model of this text misspelled her surname.
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