You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that putting the words “white” and “purity” together is problematic, what with white supremacy and all.
Yet beauty brand Nivea slapped a “white is purity” slogan on one of its recent advertisements. A move they’re now presumably regretting.
The ad for its invisible deodorant was posted on the brand’s Facebook page, geo-targeted at followers in the Middle East, according to the BBC.
“Keep it clean, keep bright. Don’t let anything ruin it, #Invisible,” the post reads.
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
“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,” a spokesperson from NIVEA’s parent company, Beiersdorf, told the BBC. “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 After realizing that the post is misleading, it was immediately withdrawn.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.
The incident mirrors a 2011 Nivea ad (and a near-identical apology) that was also deemed racially insensitive. The ad featured an African-American man throwing a human head and the copy “re-civilize yourself.”
Mashable has contacted Beiersdorf for further comment.