Nivea, the skin care brand, was forced to pull its controversial slogan posted on Facebook after it was accused of being racist. According to CNN reports, the ad at first appeared on Nivea’s Middle East Facebook page. By posting the ad, the company tried to promote its “Invisible for Black and White” deodorant. In the ad, Nivea featured a woman in a white robe with long, dark brown hair, and with the slogan ‘White is purity’.
After posting the ad, people protested that the slogan is racist, and the ad was shared by accounts that have promoted white supremacist rhetoric before.
“What the HELL is this? White Purity?” a Twitter user said. “Shame, Shame, Shame on you. Fire your marketing person and anyone who approved this ad.”
After the company was under fire, Nivea deleted the Facebook post and its parent company, Beiersdorf Global AG, apologized in a statement.
“We are deeply sorry to anyone who may take offense to this specific post,” Nivea said in a statement. “After realizing that the post is misleading, it was immediately withdrawn.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 is not the first time that Nivea was being controversial for its marketing campaigns. In 2011, Nivea posted an ad for “Nivea for Men” product, which depicted a clean-shaven black man holding a disembodied head with an Afro and getting ready to toss it away with the slogan “RE-CIVILIZE YOURSELF.” Nivea was forced to apologize under the outrage over the campaign.