Nivea — the Skincare and beauty products company — came under fire this week after they used a tasteless ad campaign depicting a clean cut black male holding the decapitated head of a man with an afro to promote a hair care product for African American men.
The ad, which was spotted in the September 2011 issue of Esquire magazine, suggested that men “re-civilize” themselves by using their product, a suggestion that sparked outrage all over the Internet, mainly on blogs and Twitter.
Once word got around that Nivea seemed to be promoting racism, their parent company Beiersdorf USA quickly responded with the following statement:
“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.”
Nivea as a company also personally issued their own statement via their 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 our 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. We appreciate all of your comments and feedback. We have ceased placing the ad in media everywhere.”
Do these companies have no kind of filter when it comes to their advertisements or something? How did this get approved in the first place?