Brands Honoring International Women’s Day Praised, Panned

April 2, 2018

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International Women’s Day on March 8 celebrated female cultural and economic achievements, and called for gender equality in cities around the world. But as Fortune reported, brands that tried to join the pro-woman conversation found mixed success.

During the Oscars on March 4, Nike commemorated International Women’s Day by airing a well-received new ad starring tennis great Serena Williams. Facebook designed Women’s Day-themed cards, photo frames and backgrounds to adorn user posts on mobile devices.

Mattel unveiled 17 new “role model” Barbies honoring historic women such as Amelia Earhart and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, along with present-day notables like “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins and Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim. A McDonald’s restaurant in California inverted its trademark golden arches, turning the M into a W for women. But some critics complained that the Barbies appear to fit the doll’s usual silhouette, and called the McDonald’s W an empty symbol.

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