After a LinkedIn user called out the 'gender marker' logo on the packaging, Scotch-Brite promised to change the logo in a few months and said that it is 'undoubtedly time to move on from regressive beliefs.'
A communications strategy consultant, Karthik Srinivasan, had taken to LinkedIn to talk about the the vector image of a woman with a bindi. He pointed out that while the lint roller doesn't carry the same logo, other products like scrub pad/sponge, sink brush, broom, bathroom wipe, stainless steel scrub, toilet brush do carry it.
He wrote, "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."
Scotch-Brite's parent company 3M India's Head of Marketing, Atul Mathur, replied to Srinivasan's post and said, "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."
He concluded the post by saying, "I am pleased to inform you that you will see the logo change a few months down the line."
While a few netizens lauded Scotch-Brite for taking a step in the right direction and working on gender stereotypes, others lashed out at the brand for 'insulting Hindu women'. It sparked a different outrage on the micro-blogging site, where Tweeple slammed Scotch-Bride for calling a woman with a Bindi 'regressive'.
Shefali Vaidya wrote, "So @3MIndia thinks wearing a bindi is a ‘regressive belief’, well, you just insulted millions of Hindu women @scotchbrite. NEVER buying your products EVER! And yeah, here is my pic in a Bindi. That’s my way of saying ‘go, fork yourselves’."
Reacting to the tweet, a user commented, "I dont think it's about the Bindi. They've mentioned gender stereotypes and time to move on from regressive beliefs, so maybe they'll change the logo to stop featuring a Woman.. mayhe @scotchbrite can clarify their side of the story."
"This is so silly madam ji. The point made is about Gender stereotypes. A woman's pic on a product for washing utensils is indeed regressive. Gender biases effect one and all, irrespective of them being a bindi wearing Hindu or a burqa clad Muslim," wrote another user.
Here's how Twitter reacted:
After backlash, 3M India, issued a statement and apologised for their remarks. The statement read, "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."