Nivea Pulls Controversial Ad After Claims of Racism
Skin care product maker Nivea found itself in hot water this week when the black blogosphere got a hold of an arguably racist print ad for men’s grooming products that was printed in Esquire magazine. The advert features a clean-cut black man tossing a disembodied black man’s head with an unkempt Afro and beard– the tagline is “Re-Civilize Yourself.” Clearly the folks Nivea didn’t realized that grooming, especially when coupled with the insinuation that long kink hair is uncivilized can be a touchy subject for African-Americans.
Realizing how the company had erred Nivea released a statement on their Facebook page on yesterday and has decided to stop running the ad immediately.
From Nivea USA’s Facebook page”
“Thank you for caring enough to give us your feedback about the recent ‘Re-civilized’ NIVEA FOR MEN ad. This ad was inappropriate and offensive. It was never out intention to offend anyone, and for this we are deeply sorry. This ad will never be used again. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of our company.”
In addition a spokesperson for Nivea USA’s German parent company Beiersdorf AG, released the following statement:
“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.”
Was the ad really offensive? Are we being too sensitive? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.