Nivea Faces Harsh Backlash Over Ad Claiming Skin-Lightening Lotion Makes You Look Younger

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Nivea is at it again with another controversial ad. The German skincare brand was accused of racism for a Ghanaian campaign for skin-lightening lotion. As a result, the company was forced to apologize. It is the second snafu for the brand this year.

The commercial, which debuted over the summer, features a woman picking up her daughter from school but a man mistakes her for the student’s mother. It claims that by lightening one’s skin, it will make the user look younger.

Viewers were outraged.

“We have recently noted concerns on social media by some consumers regarding our NIVEA Natural Fairness Body Lotion communication in Ghana,” the brand said according to a statement on Facebook. “We would like to emphasize that this campaign is in no way meant to demean or glorify any person’s needs or preferences in skin care.”

Nivea ghana

The notice said the ingredients work to even out skin tone.

“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,” it concluded.


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However, the statement was not enough for English musician Fuse ODG, who is of Ghanaian descent.

“It’s hard to believe but somehow you have managed to miss the reason that you have upset so many people with this advert,” he tweeted. “The main issue is not actually with the product that you are but the ‘ideal’ that you are selling.”

“Nivea is not the only culprit,” he added. “But this dangerous ideal is sold across many industries and sectors and is causing people of a darker hue across the globe to lighten their skin out of insecurity in regards to their natural skin.”

Fuse concluded that companies such as Nivea needed to be sued for “inciting internal and external racial hatred.”

And there were many others who felt Nivea’s response was inadequate.

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