NIVEA HAS APOLOGISED for its most recent advertisement campaign, which the company itself deemed “inappropriate and offensive”.
The print ad for its ‘For Men’ range features a clean-shaven, African-American man throwing away a mask of a black man with an Afro and beard (presumably his earlier “non-caring self”) and carries the tag-line, “Look like you give a damn…Re-Civilise Yourself”.
The ad created uproar on Twitter and other social media sites after it was printed in Esquire magazine’s September issue.
Some Twitter users called for a boycott of the company’s products. Others posted photos of themselves sporting Afro hairstyles to the Nivea US Facebook page.
One commenter started the trend with the post:
I Am Civilized…. I admonish every African American to upload pictures of their natural “civilized selves” with the caption “I Am Civilized.
Nivea last night responded to the criticism, stating it would no longer run the ads.
In a statement on Facebook, the company said:
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.