Nivea has become the latest personal care brand to become embroiled in a racism row after airing an advert in which a black model shows off a skin lightening product, just weeks after cosmetics brand Dove was castigated for showcasing a black woman turning white.
Aimed at African women, the controversial advert promotes Nivea’s Natural Fairness Cream which is being sold to people with dark skin as an easy way to attain ‘visibly fairer skin’.
An accompanying voiceover intones that the cream will ‘restore’ skin to its natural fairness after which a male admirer compliments the model on her beautiful skin.
This is why black businesses need to rise up and cater for our needs. Nivea can’t get away with pushing this skin lightening agenda across Africa. Appalling. pic.twitter.com/8uR7XHNgVa
— William Adoasi (@WilliamAdoasi) October 18, 2017
A spokesperson for Beiersdorf AG, owner of the German brand, offered only qualified apology, insisting that it was committed to "diverse skin care needs".
They said: “Our intention is never to offend our consumers. We acknowledge every consumer's right to choose products according to their personal preferences, and we are guided by that to provide them with high-quality skin care product choices."