Nivea Released Controversial Ad That Encourages Africans To ‘Lighten’ Skin
By Izza Sofia, 20 Oct 2017
A Nivea advert that features a black woman using the company’s product with the tagline ‘visibly lightens’ has been branded “racist.”
Social media users have called the ad, which has appeared in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal, “racist” and “colourist” and demanded that it be taken down.
Former Miss Nigeria Omowunmi Akinnifesi appears in the ad for the moisturising lotion, “Natural Fairness,” and in the video version she says that “visibly fairer skin” makes her feel younger. In the ad, graphic effects show the model’s skin lightens as the lotion passes over it.
The ad may have aired months ago, but it was dragged into the negative spotlight this week, following the racism controversy over competitor Dove’s tone-deaf advertisement. Social media users were scathing in their comments, especially in Ghana where Twitter users called for a boycott of all Nivea products and a removal of the campaign with the hashtag #pullitdownnow.
Nivea issued a statement saying the “campaign is in no way meant to demean or glorify any person’s needs or preferences in skin care.” The Natural Fairness line’s “natural ingredients and UV filters” were aimed at “reducing the sun-induced production of melanin,” they went on to say.
While reminding consumers that their product ranges embrace diversity, the Facebook post showed no real acknowledgement of the racial insensitivity of the ad.
Watch. The first Face of Nivea in West Africa. Have you seen the new Nivea ads, billboards and all around Africa?? 🙈. I'm shy. It comes on when I'm watching my favorite show 'Blackish' on mnet or when I'm watching CNN's breaking news. Then I get startled when I see the massive billboards. You will think I'm use to this. #Brandambasador #NiveaAfrica #Nivea #skincare #Africa #BeautyQueen #Beauty #Beiersdorf #NaturalFairness #Billboards #TVad #radio
A post shared by Omowunmi Akinnifesi (@omowunmiak) on
[via Mirror, opening image via Instagram]
More related news