CSR and Goddess Legs

Procter & Gamble has launched a new ad campaign for its Venus range that features Jennifer Lopez.  She is the brand's first-ever global ambassador and will herald the new 'Goddess focus' to its digital marketing. Lopez is also making appearances for Gillette’s Goddess Fund for Education which donates a dollar to women in need any time a person posts a story about when they felt like a goddess.

The Education Fund is tied into P&G's CSR initiative. According to their marketing release, "a $70,000 corporate citizenship component will see the Venus Goddess Fund for Education donate $1 per consumer-shared 'goddess story' uploaded to its website, up to a maximum of 5,000 stories (or $5,000). In addition, a set donation of $65,000 will be made; $50,000 to the Step Up Women’s Network (U.S.) and $15,000 to CARE International (Canada)."

The idea is that Lopez would "inspire women around the world to 'reveal the goddess in you,' by feeling confident, powerful and beautiful, inside and out." So P&G says that the new philanthropic effort dedicated to empowering women through education will be spearheaded by Jennifer Lopez's legs.

Call me a hypercritic but I see a mis-match of ideas here. Legs = Education how? Granted that promoting education for women is a noble cause and I'm not trying to take away from that. I'm also not saying that P&G's CSR is not without merit. They recently pledged that they would power their plants with 100% renewable energy and use 100% renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging. They also have set an ambitious target of having zero consumer and manufacturing wastes. Yet they do manufacture disposable razors.

They do have a provision to replace the razor blade, once you exhaust the two blades each razor comes with but additional blades are so crazy expensive that you're better off buying a new razor! Yet during the floods in Pakistan, 50 million liters of water was provided to victims and they also pledged $400,000 in additional support. Last year they held a concert with Faith Hill to honour the rebuilding efforts since Katrina in New Orleans.

Last year they also introduced what was a first for many big businesses. They launched the Supplier Environmental Sustainability Scorecard and a rating process to measure and improve the environmental performance of their key suppliers. According to their press release, "the new scorecard will assess P&G suppliers' environmental footprint and encourage continued improvement by measuring energy use, water use, waste disposal and greenhouse gas emissions on a year-to-year basis." Year after year they have made the 100 Most Sustainable Companies list.

But I have a slight problem with this campaign. I totally support women's education. I also totally support boosting women's self-esteem through the 'goddess campaign' - its the mash-up that I cannot understand. I would understand if they had promoted healthy eating or exercise or talked about body-image issues among girls in conjunction with this campaign OR if they had just focussed on promoting education OR if they had left out Jennifer Lopez.

There is no disputing that Lopez is multi-talented, oozes confidence and sex appeal. I mean no disrespect to her, but to imply she got from the Bronx to where she is now on the merit of her education is ludicrous.

Photo Credit: Lopez's Venus Campaign