Earlier this year Nivea got themselves into trouble as they released a problematic skincare campaign. The photo depicted a woman in a white robe and read, “White is purity.” The brand claimed that it didn’t mean its campaign to be viewed as offensive content, but that didn’t stop others on the internet from criticising it. Nivea’s Facebook post for the campaign read:
“Keep it clean, keep bright. Don’t let anything ruin it.”
It looks like the brand hasn’t learned from the previous backlash, since they just released another campaign that’s being called out for racism. Nivea has begun promoting their new Natural Fairness moisturiser in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Senegal. The video features a black woman applying the Natural Fairness moisturizer to her body, and shows her skin becoming visibly lighter in the process. The advert is a blatant promotion of colourism.
Social media has reacted with the hashtag #PULLITDOWN. An ad that shames people for their natural skin colour and suggests that it needs to be correct is an ad that should never have been released in the first place. We can’t help but think about a similar situation that happened with Dove just a few weeks ago. Who is the head of their advertising campaign and how are these adverts getting across all checks and seeing the light?