You don’t need to be an advertising genius to figure out that the phrase ‘White is Purity’ is going to cause your brand a few problems, and yet someone at Nivea green-lit this advert earlier:
Featured Image VIA
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) April 4, 2017
The ad for its invisible deodorant was posted on their own Facebook page, and insanely enough was geo-targeted at followers in the Middle East.
When I see offensive content like Nivea/Pepsi my FIRST Q is "How many ppl saw, signed off on this with no issue?" This is the real problem.
— Sakita Holley (@MissSuccess) April 4, 2017
The post was removed soon after going up, but it had already done enough where Nivea saw fit to release this statement:
There have been concerns risen about ethnic discrimination due to a post about NIVEA Deodorant Invisible for Black & White on our NIVEA Middle East Facebook page. We are deeply sorry to anyone who may take offense to this specific post. After realizing that the post is misleading, it was immediately withdrawn.
Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of NIVEA: The brand represents diversity, tolerance, and equal opportunity. We value difference. Direct or indirect discrimination must be ruled out in all decisions by, and in all areas of our activities.
This isn’t even the first time Nivea has screwed up with suggestively racist advertising. I mean what’s worse – ‘White is Purity’ or this ‘Re-Civilise Yourself’ advert they ran in 2011:
Yikes. That is somehow 1000 times worse than ‘White is Purity’. The wildest thing, as the lady in the Tweet above says, is how this stuff gets sanctioned in the first place. Entire marketing and legal teams working together on ads and somehow this kind of thing keeps happening.
Wouldn’t be too shocking if it was an intentional publicity stunt, as was definitely the case with the annoying new Pepsi advert.