The latest from the corporate world to join an allegedly racist faction is Nivea which proved that it hasn't learned much from the mistakes of Cadbury and Dove. In its latest print ad advertizing men's skin care range, Nivea juxtaposes a well-groomed African-American male, holding a mask of a bearded African man, with a slogan that says Re-Civilize Yourself.
The ad, which appears in the September issue of Esquire, became a hot topic of discussion when people started tweeting about it calling it unapologetically racist.
CNN published an apology from Nivea, which pulled the ad from print.
We are deeply sorry to anyone who may take offense to this specific local advertisement. After realizing that this ad is misleading, it was immediately withdrawn.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 applies regardless of gender, age, race, skin color, religion, ideology, sexual orientation, or disability. Nor should cultural, ethnic, or national origin, and political or philosophical conviction be of any significance, NIVEA statement said.
A blogger posted a picture of the same Nivea ad featuring a Caucasian man. However, the second version has a different slogan which reads Sin City isn't an excuse to look like hell.
In June this year, Naomi Campbell hit the headlines, accusing Cadbury of being insensitive and racist in their chocolate commercial that compared the ramp diva to chocolate. She reacted fiercely to the commercial, saying: It's upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. It is insulting and hurtful. The ad features a picture of Cadbury's new chocolate bar, Bliss, underneath the caption, Move over Naomi, there's a new diva in town.
Cadbury, owned by US giant Kraft Foods, in its statement justified the commercial saying that it was a light-hearted take on the social pretensions of Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss. After the super model's allegations Cadbury pulled the ad from broadcast.
Dove was also targeted after it ran an advertisement for Dove Visible Care Body Wash which featured colored and white women, with possible implication that the former is going through a transformation to become latter.
Gawker had posted an apology from Dove which stated that, ...all three women are intended to demonstrate the after product benefit. We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience.