The add features a neatly dressed, clean shaven, Black male gripping an afro-clad and heavily bearded dismembered head of his former self. The male leans back in a presumable throwing motion with a caption reading;
“Look like you give a damn…Re-Civilize yourself”.
Nivea is clearly pushing the envelope with this one by highlighting the assumption that an afro-wearing, bearded black male is somewhat less “civilized” than his shaven, sweater dressed counterpart.
According to Forbes.com, Twitter followers are already voicing their disdain by posting the following tweets;
“Nivea says to “re-civilize” yourself. Welp. Get rid of the whole bottle of lotion.”
“I bet Nivea is furiously writing an apology right now.”
And that they need, the parent company Beiersdorf issued this apology through Adweek,
“We are deeply sorry for a recent ‘Re-civilized’ Nivea For Men ad. This ad was inappropriate and offensive. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values at Beiersdorf and we do not tolerate insensitivity. It was never our intention to offend anyone and for this we are deeply sorry. This ad will never be used again. Beiersdorf, as a company, represents diversity, tolerance and equal opportunity. Direct and indirect discrimination must be ruled out in all decisions and in all areas of the company.”
What do you think of Nivea’s apology?