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Kleenex rebranding ‘Mansize’ tissues after gender backlash, complaints of sexism

Kleenex is under fire for sexist tissues. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Kleenex was forced to rebrand their "Mansize" tissues after many people complained that "Mansize" tissues were sexist and not inclusive.

What are the details?

Kleenex maker Kimberly-Clark is in the process of rebranding their "Mansize" tissues after buyers complained that the tissues were sexist.

The "for men" tissues were launched in the U.K. in 1956.

According to a report in the U.K.'s Telegraph, the "Mansize" tissue — which is the country's most popular tissue — will undergo a facelift so as to not offend those who believe assigning a gender to tissues is wrong.

In a statement, the company said that they received a "consistent increase of complaints on gender concern," and as a result, they will rebrand the tissues as "Kleenex Extra Large." Instead "Mansize," the tissue box will now boast phrases like "comfortingly soft" and "confidently strong."

What did the company say about the move?

A spokesperson for the company told the outlet that the company "in no way suggests" that "comfortingly soft" and "confidently strong" are "exclusively masculine [traits], nor do we believe that the Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality."

"Kleenex Mansize tissues have been on shelves for the past 60 years. Over that time, the brand has always been characterised by a much larger tissue size, which is both soft and strong," the company statement read.

"It was launched at a time when large cotton handkerchiefs were still very popular and Kleenex offered a unique disposable alternative," the statement added. "Despite that our consumer service is registering consistent increase of complaints on gender concern related to Mansize subbrand."

"Kimberly-Clark in no way suggests that being both soft and strong is an exclusively masculine trait, nor do we believe that the Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality," the statement explained. "Our Mansize tissues remain one of our most popular products, with 3.4 million people buying these tissues every year."

"Nevertheless," the statement concluded, "as we remain committed to developing the best possible products for our consumers and take any feedback extremely seriously, we decided to renovate our current product and update the product subbrand as Kleenex Extra Large."

Anything else?

Sam Smethers, who is chief executive at the Fawcett Society, a feminist campaign group, approved of Kimberly-Clark's revamping of "Mansized" tissues and praised the move in a statement to the outlet.

"Rebranding [Mansized] tissues is not to be sneezed at. Removing sexist branding such as this is just sensible 21st century marketing," Smethers said. "But we still have a long way to go before using lazy stereotypes to sell products is a thing of the past."

You can watch an old commercial for the "offensive" manvertising in the video below.

One last thing…
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