The Marketing Society recently celebrated 50 years with a huge jolly and awards all round. The accolade for The Greatest Contributor to Marketing was taken by A G Lafley of P & G.
In his video acceptance speech, he reportedly referred to P & G's customers as "she", which was thought to be patronising by many of those present.
I'm with them. It may sound harmless enough, and may even reflect that fact that more than 50% of P & G's sales are probably accounted for by women. But there's something behind the deliberate use of "she" that suggests a whole attitude, which I fear still prevails at the higher echelons of the likes of Procter & Gamble.
However much they try to "embrace" the 21st century, social media and all the rest, you get the feeling that many of these companies would feel much more comfortable in the golden age of the 1950s when TV advertising was the brave new world and the "consumer" - the good little woman at home - prayed in thanks every day at the altar of the great household god with his wonder products that made her life easier.