Kleenex wipes “sexist” name in tissue rebrand
Kleenex has bowed to social media pressure to change the name of its ‘Mansize’ tissues after consumers complained the name was sexist.
The company behind Kleenex, Kimberly-Clark, on Thursday said the product, which is sold only in the UK, will now be called ‘Kleenex Extra Large.’
Packages for the tissues describe them as “confidently strong” and “comfortingly soft.”
Kimberly-Clark told Britain’s Daily Telegraph that it in “no way suggests” that being both soft and strong was “an exclusively masculine trait, nor do we believe that the Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality.”
“We are always grateful to customers who take time to tell us how our products can be improved, and we carefully consider all suggestions,” the company said in a statement.
The tissues, which had been on shelves for 60 years, were launched at a time when large cotton handkerchiefs were still very popular and the brand offered “a unique disposable alternative,” the company said.
Earlier this month Lisa Hancox took to Twitter to share her thoughts after her son questioned the name.
Hi @Kleenex_UK. My 4yo son asked me what was written here. Then he asked, why are they called mansize? Can girls, boys & mummies use them? I said: I don’t know & yes of course. He suggests you should call them “very large tissues”. It is 2018 pic.twitter.com/SeOg32RsDV
— Lisa Hancox (@LisaMHancox) October 10, 2018
Two days later after the tweet garnered much attention on social media, Kleenex replied to Hancox’s tweet and confirmed they would change the name.
“Thank you for sharing your concern. We recently made changes to our Mansize branding and will now be labeled Extra Large, keep an eye out in shops,” the company tweeted.
The tissues remain one of their most popular products, with over 3.4 million people buying the tissues every year.
Kimberly-Clark is not the first company to run into a branding issue forced by changing social views. Among the more memorable casualties was stationery maker BiC, which ran into disparaging comments when trying to market pink and purple pens “for her.” Amazon was flooded by reviews poking fun at the strategy and the notion that it was “designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand.”