Safety is No Laughing Matter

CEO David Taylor shares perspective on P&G’s efforts to keep people safe and encourage good decisions by teens and young adults.

Like parents everywhere, I can make a pretty good argument that my kids are the greatest. And, like parents everywhere, beyond keeping them safe, one of my greatest responsibilities was to prepare them to be responsible adults.

As my kids became teens, they naturally sought more freedom in their lives to do things like drive, go out with friends and stay out later. My job of ensuring their safety increasingly became more about teaching them what it means to behave responsibly so they could make good decisions on their own.

As a father, seeing recent examples of young people intentionally take part in self-harming challenges like ingesting large amounts of cinnamon or the so-called “Tide Pods Challenge” is extremely concerning.

The possible life altering consequences of this act, seeking internet fame, can derail young people’s hopes and dreams and ultimately their health.

Ensuring the safety of the people who use our products is fundamental to everything we do at P&G. However, even the most stringent standards and protocols, labels and warnings can’t prevent intentional abuse fueled by poor judgment and the desire for popularity.

As P&G’s CEO, I assure you we’re working with our partners to do what we can to stop this dangerous trend, including ensuring social media networks are removing videos that glorify this harmful behaviour, partnering with advocacy and industry groups to help spread the word that this is dangerous behaviour not to be copied, and releasing public service announcement that is designed to reach teens and young adults – in addition to other steps we’ve taken.

And, I’m also asking for your help.

Let’s all take a moment to talk with the young people in our lives and let them know that their life and health matter more than clicks, views and likes. Please help them understand that this is no laughing matter.