Nivea, a German-based skin care brand, has pulled a “White Is Purity” advertisement after it caused quite a stir for being racially insensitive.
The ad, which featured a woman with dark hair flowing down her back while wearing a white robe in a brightly lit room, was a promotion for the brand’s Invisible for Black and White deodorant and featured the tagline, “Keep it clean, keep bright. Don’t let anything ruin it, #Invisible.”
The post was shared on Nivea’s Middle East Facebook page and sparked immediate outrage on social media, with people accusing the company of being insensitive and racist.
— Scott Bellows (@ScottProfessor) April 4, 2017
“We are deeply sorry to anyone who may take offense to this specific post,” Nivea said in a statement, according to The New York Times. “Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of Nivea.”
The ad was up for two days, but it has since been scrapped.
This is not the first time Nivea has found itself in hot water over an unfortunate advertisement. In 2011, the skin care brand apologized for a promotion that featured what appeared to be a clean-shaven black man holding a mask of a man with a beard and an Afro hair style.
“Look Like You Give a Damn. Re-civilize Yourself,” the ad read.
Nivea isn’t the only company being accused racial insensitivity lately. On Tuesday, Pepsi was criticized for a new video advertisement showing model Kendall Jenner offering a Pepsi to a police officer during a protest. Critics say the ad is appropriating the Black Lives Matter movement in an effort to sell sodas.
Many suggested Pepsi was copying a photo of Iesha Evans, a protester from Baton Rouge, La., who during a Black Lives Matter rally calmly offered her hands for arrest to a group of police officers in riot gear.
Kendall Jenner: Can I copy off of you?
Iesha Evans: No.
Kendall:* Looks over shoulder anyway*
Damn that. I'm getting this Pepsi money. pic.twitter.com/NUXwCZnM7p
— C I L L My Landlord (@GuruBluXVIII) April 4, 2017
“This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an import message to convey,” PepsiCo said in a statement to CNN.