When searching for a trademark, one should consider all connotations, and potential public outcry, stemming from the use of the mark.  Kleenex learned that lesson first-hand over the last few weeks after their use of the term "Mansize" to describe extra-large tissues faced consumer complaints of being sexist.

Kleenex went on to pull all the product from shelves in the United Kingdom (the only country where these tissues are sold), and will re-brand the "Mansize" tissues as "Kleenex Extra Large."  The packaging referred to the "Mansize" tissues as "confidently strong and comfortingly soft."  Kimberly-Clark, the company behind Kleenex, told the media that the use of the term in no way suggests that being both soft and strong was an "exclusively masculine trait, nor do [Kimberly-Clark] believe that Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality."

The extra-large tissues have featured on shelves for sixty years, and were launched during a time where many still carried large cotton handkerchiefs.  The brand therein developed these "Mansize" tissues to provide a "unique disposable alternative"; with 3.4 million people buying the tissues annually.

The issue came about after a UK resident tweeted @Kleenex_UK about a conversation the woman had with her son after her son asked whether girls, boys, and mothers can use the "Mansize" tissues, or not.  The company, via its @Kleenex_UK twitter account replied to the tweet a few days later stating that they have made changes to the "Mansize" branding and have relabelled the tissues as "Extra Large."

Summary By: Hashim Ghazi

E-TIPS® ISSUE

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