Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/19/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Companies like to push the envelope with their ads. Sometimes the gamble works, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes, like in the case of a new advertising campaign from Nivea, the whole thing turns into a fiasco.

Nivea, a company that specializes in skin-care products, recently released a print ad that it has since pulled. How to best describe the ad? It shows an African American man preparing to toss a decapitated head (his own?) with an afro-style haircut. The ad copy reads: "Re-Civilize Yourself." The underlying message seems to be that afros are not civilized.

Almost immediately, the ad met with outrage. The Los Angeles Times reported that Facebook users began "posting photos of themselves with Afros on Nivea's wall, saying things such as: 'I wear my hair natural and I just graduated with my doctorate! So who needs to be re-civilized?? Nivea no longer welcomed in my household.' "


Nivea has since taken down the ad and issued an apology via Facebook. "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."

While the ad has since been pulled, the massive interest in the controversy it created continues full steam ahead. Over the past 24 hours, Web searches for "Nivea recivilize yourself" surged 629 percent. "Nivea racist ad" spiked 140 percent. The conventional wisdom is that there's no such thing as bad publicity, but the fallout from this ad SNAFU might prove otherwise.


Thoughts on the matter?

(Personally I think they did it for publicity)
..

2 Comments

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♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/23/2011

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Glad you agree!

This company has been around for decades they pay people BIG bucks to come up with ads.

They did have a similar add with a White guy who was holding a head that had shaggy hair and a beard, but the difference between that and the Afro head is this…The Afro has history and was a symbol at very tense time in history…and for them to use that and say what they did was offensive to some black people.

They could have had the head with an over grown fade and beard, but no they picked this…and were so quick to apologize…they knew what they were doing.

Johnny - posted on 08/23/2011

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Well, I'd like to think they are that stupid and naive that they didn't realize how inappropriate it would be, but I've got to agree with your suggestion that they did it for publicity. Personally, that rather makes me never want to buy their products. Anyone who would do something that offensive just for attention is really as bad as someone who would do it truthfully.

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