An online advertisement for Nivea’s Invisible for Black & White deodorant has been withdrawn, and the company has apologised, after a number of people complained that it was ‘racist’.
The advert, posted to Nivea’s Facebook page earlier this week, showed a woman with black hair sat facing away from the camera, along with overlaid text saying: “White is purity.”
The post, on the brand’s Middle Eastern Facebook page, also featured the caption: “Keep it clean, keep it bright. Don’t let anything ruin it.”
The ad prompted many comments on social media about its unfortunate racial connotations, and it was picked up on by far right social media accounts, one commenting; “Nivea: the official moisturizer/anti-perspirant of the AltRight.”
“What the HELL is this?” added one outraged Twitter commenter. “White Purity? Shame, Shame, Shame on you. Fire your marketing person and anyone who approved this ad.”
A spokesperson for Nivea apologised, saying: “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.
“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 applies regardless of gender, age, race, skin colour, religion, ideology, sexual orientation, or disability. Nor should cultural, ethnic, or national origin, and political or philosophical conviction be of any significance.”