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Why is Nivea ‘white is pure’ ad controversial?

Why is Niveas white is pure ad controversial

Why is Nivea ‘white is pure’ ad controversial?

When you are a world-known skin care company, you need to choose your words carefully. Especially when your ad campaign is viewed by millions. Those who oppose your methods will be quick to jump to conclusions. Something that might start out as a great idea, could become your worst nightmare.

Nivea, the German skincare company is no exception. Their recent ad, featuring ‘white’ as the purest thing ever caused a backlash. Although Nivea might only have been referring to their deodorant, people thought otherwise.

It soon became a debate over racial discrimination. The “Keep it clean, keep it bright. Don’t let anything ruin it.” Might just have ruined it for Nivea. Even some of its loyal customers opposed the message of the ad, claiming it was insensitive and racist.

The slogan appeared on Nivea’s Middle East Facebook page, but was taken down after the allegations. They apologised to those who felt offended by the ad, hoping to make things right. “We are deeply sorry to anyone who may take offense to this specific post. After realizing that the post is misleading, it was immediately withdrawn”.

This wasn’t the first, nor the last time Nivea created a controversial ad for sure. Needless to say that they aren’t the only company, either. What’s considered to be controversial? Sometimes people get away with anything, while other times even the slightest momentum is misinterpreted. Either way, it’s for everyone to decide whether they agree with the allegations or not.

For now, let’s ask the cards whether Nivea will have long term problems originating from the ad.

Psychic Timea’s Verdict:

Four of Pentacles:
Although Nivea has achieved great success in the past, money has become a major element for them. There is a need for a more sensitive approach, one that also considers people’s needs.

Five of Cups:
There is a need to learn from past mistakes. This incident has caused a major loss. If they manage to focus on changing their ways for the future, their reputation can still be saved.

Three of Pentacles:
Nivea is proud of its achievements, but will have to continue to create things it can be proud of. Teamwork and feedback is always important. Just like the previous cards, this one suggests that learning from mistakes is key to future success.


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  1. I think people read to much into everything. Spiritually the color white is the symbol of purity and virginity and youth. I don’t believe it has anything to do with skin color. Where I understand that some things can be done in malice with harmful intentions alot of what people are getting offended by seems to have nothing to do with anything offensive in the first place. Nivea is actually the color white, meaning it is free from dyes and chemicals. It was about the product, not races. This commercial was saying that their skin care products are “pure” and natural. Not chemicals or harmful. Once again the masses are offended for not understanding context. I blame common core education. It seems that basic listening skills are non existent and over reaction to feelings is at an all time high.

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