What CoverGirl’s Reaction To Domestic Violence In The NFL Says About The Brand (And Why You Should Care)


After graphic footage of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (holy “Rs”) abusing wife Janay leaked publicly, the NFL has come under fire for purportedly keeping the atrocities under wraps. As the official make-up brand of the NFL, CoverGirl was expected by many to drop affiliation. It is, after all, a woman’s brand.

However, despite a passionately written tweet that the brand “supports women & stands for female empowerment,” it would appear that CoverGirl will continue to sponsor the NFL.

An official response has also been released:

“As a brand that has always supported women and stood for female empowerment, COVERGIRL believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable. We developed our NFL program to celebrate the more than 80 million female football fans. In light of recent events, we have encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward to address the issue of domestic violence.”
Source: CoverGirl Facebook

To be frank, what I read is: “‘We really don’t want to miss out on those 80 million female football fans’ Jackson notes, so… sorry, lolz.”

Judging by this lackluster statement, forced from the brand after someone took to Photoshop to alter their “Get Your Game Face On” ad which featured a model with a black eye, CoverGirl simply gave the NFL a swift pat on the derriere and moved on.

CoverGirl’s parent company, Procter and Gamble, has a pretty clean track record in the realm of Fortune 500 companies; their board is comprised of a surprisingly balanced six men and five women. They’ve been ranked in Fortune’s list of “World’s Most Admired Companies” and have been given the title of “Best Overall Company for Leadership Development” by Chief Executive Magazine, a publication that’s written on higher-ups for 30 years. In the grand scheme of things, they’ve had little controversy in the contemporary big business world.

This is a heavy list of accolades and it’s fair to argue the stance that’s been taken thus far on the NFL’s poor business practices isn’t in keeping with the company’s image.

CoverGirl has been a staple for many women since they were tromping around in their mothers’ heels, but in 2014 women have more power than ever before, and they are anything but pleased.

Hashtags have spread like wildfire throughout the Twittersphere since the news broke, spearheaded by many the incensed female: #BoycottCoverGirl, #BoycottNFL and #GoodellMustGo are still trending.

At the very least, NFL decision-maker and Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Monday that he’s created the position of “vice president of social responsibility” which will be filled by none other than Anna Isaacson, the very female who was previously the NFL’s vice president of community affairs and philanthropy. Goodell will also be hiring three female advisers, since “issues of domestic violence and social issues” seem to be beyond the existing leadership’s grasp.

Transparent and contrived indeed but still, something to show that he’s not shameless.

By continuing to support the NFL in any way, CG is telling the world that though what happened isn’t good, it’s not bad enough to justice their loss.

If CoverGirl truly wants to be viewed as a company that supports women through and through, they’re going to have to put their money where their mouth is and eat the deal on this one; whether or not they make this choice will define them as a brand for years to come.

featured image – CoverGirl.com