Petition asks Gillette to take name off Patriots stadium to protest owner's arrest
Here's one more ripple from the splash Gillette created with its January "The Best Men Can Be" video: A Care2 petition is calling for the brand to pull its name off the New England Patriots' stadium to protest team owner Robert Kraft's arrest on prostitution charges.
The petition argues that "The Best Men Can Be" from Grey is more than a tagline, but also "a commitment to promoting healthy representations of what masculinity means." Kraft's arrest after police allegedly filmed him having sex with workers at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, doesn't measure up to that ideal, the petition argues.
"Women involved were clearly victims of human trafficking, conditions Kraft was likely aware of," according to the petition. Kraft pleaded not guilty to the charges. The New England Patriots and Gillette didn't respond to requests for comment.
As of late Tuesday, the petition had just under its target of 14,000 signatures.
In a statement, Care2 noted that Gillette has had naming rights for the stadium in Foxboro, Mass., since 2002, and re-upped in 2010 years after Procter & Gamble Co. acquired the business in 2005 to extend the deal until 2031. It's unclear whether Kraft's arrest or conviction would trigger contractual terms allowing P&G to end the deal prematurely.
The "We Believe" video from Grey became a lightning rod for mostly conservative critics immediately after its release, but survey respondents who viewed it without first seeing social-media commentary viewed the video favorably in surveys from Ace Metrix and Morning Consult. Traffic to the Gillette On Demand online store improved in the wake of the video, according to SimilarWeb, driven largely by YouTube and Twitter users.