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Choosey Corporations Choose Responsibility - An Open Letter to Jif Peanut Butter
Mr. Timothy P. Smucker
Chairman and CEO,
The J. M. Smucker Company
1 Strawberry Lane
Orrville, OH 44667-0280
Dear Mr. Smucker,
I was casually watching television last night when I caught your latest commercial for Jif® Peanut Butter, the one with a dad building a tree house for his little girl. I wanted to let you know that I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the commercial with the change in your tagline: “Choosey Moms and Dads Choose Jif.” Thank you for being responsible in your advertising by recognizing the importance of dads in the lives of their children - even the everyday, mundane tasks (such as grocery shopping and making meals). I do hope that this is a permanent change to your advertising and not just a one-time shot just for this commercial.
Mr. Smucker, while I’m aware that moms still do most of the grocery shopping and are therefore your target audience, well, the times they are a’changin’, and it is no longer socially responsible for corporations to continue to endorse and push traditional gender roles just to help the bottom line. Our sons need to know that they will have just as much responsibility for caring for their future children as the future mother of their children does. Our daughters need to know and expect that the job of caring for the day-to-day needs of their future family is not incumbent only on them. And while the job of educating our sons and daughters about this first and foremost belongs to us, their parents, we need partnerships from the brands we buy – not to be undercut and under-minded. Isn’t that the real way socially responsible corporations should behave? Choosey Corporations Choose Responsibility, after all.
Again, Mr. Smucker, thank you for taking the right approach. While speaking to audiences, I have frequently targeted Jif’s® tagline as a negative example of corporate ir-responsibility when it comes to supporting involved and engaged fathers. If this is indeed a permanent change, as I hope it is, we can now use Jif® and the entire J. M. Smucker Company as a positive example of a corporation getting it right.
With warmest regards,
Dad & Director,
Dads Inc. – A Division of The Villages