The Drum Awards for Marketing - Entry Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Creative Malaysia Digital Advertising

Watsons Malaysia slammed after using ‘blackface’ in ad telling the story of Dayang Senandong


By Benjamin Cher | Reporter

June 8, 2017 | 2 min read

Watsons Malaysia has been slammed for using ‘blackface’ in a recent Hari Raya Ad.

watsons malaysia blackface

Watson Malaysia slammed for 'blackface' in ad

The ad, which has been pulled, featured a number of Malaysian celebrities, and tells of the Malay folklore, Dayang Senandong. The ad shows princesses and beauties trying to win the heart of a rich merchant.

Dayand Senandong is a Malay folklore about a lady cursed with black skin and a beautiful voice, which led a king to fall in love with her. The curse of the black skin was only broken after Dayang Senandong gave birth to the king’s child.

Watson Malaysia has apologised for the ad with a statement, “We stand firm on the belief that unity and fairness plays an important role, and we respect people from all nationalities. The video was shot to highlight the Legend and its moral values of inner beauty and that true love exists. We are sorry that some of our fans feel offended by the video which was not our intention.”

Creative Malaysia Digital Advertising

More from Creative

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +