Nivea under fire for ad promoting skin lightening in Africa

Pauline Gross
October 21, 2017

Nivea has become embroiled in a racism row after unveiling a controversial advert in several African countries for a cream that claims to "visibly lighten" women's skin colour.

Skincare brand Nivea has been slammed for an advert that shows a black woman using their products to lighten her skin. Others dragged Omowunmi, who is the first face of Nivea West Africa, for agreeing to such contract that denigrates the skin tone of her kind. The model beams noting that the "visibly fairer skin" makes her feel "younger".

The cream, called Natural Fairness, has been marketed to women in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal. "ALL black skin is handsome, no exceptions, so celebrate us as we are instead of asking us to adhere to unattainable and racist ideals", she went on to say.

"I need a product that I can really trust to restore my skin's natural fairness", narrates the woman.

Nivea also issued a statement on Facebook on October 18 saying the "campaign is in no way meant to demean or glorify any person's needs or preferences in skin care".

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The ad has been out for a few months, however the outrage began recently in the wake of the Dove scandal in which another Nigerian model was used by a beauty corporation to encourage skin bleaching.

The statement further read, "We respect every consumer's right to choose products according to their personal preferences, and we are guided by that to responsibly provide them with safe and high-quality skin care product choices".

The advert promotes the Beiersdorf-owned Nivea lotion and has left consumers disgruntled at the connotation that fairer skin equates to beauty. The ad came with a tagline: "Re-civilize yourself".

User @J_Akuamoah wrote on Twitter, "Dear Nivea, too many people are ruining their skin because of ads like this".

Other reports by GizPress

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