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Thread: Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

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    Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

    Nivea pulls offensive ad



    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."
    This is an example of a company not doing ENOUGH market research and simply trying to be cool. It's simply ridiculous to assert that a person isn't civilized simply because they have longer hair whether they're black or white. Pop culture has long made long hair, piercings, tattoos a non-issue. However, companies insist that if a certain look is not kept then that person is "less" than others. It's a shame really.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 08-20-11 at 01:06 AM.
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    Re: Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

    Holy hell. Whoever designed that ad, and all the people who signed off on it, need to be fired. And they will probably never work again.

    How dense do you need to be to run an ad like that in the year 2011? Seriously, it should be dead-obvious how racist that is.

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    Re: Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

    Quote Originally Posted by MistressNomad View Post
    Holy hell. Whoever designed that ad, and all the people who signed off on it, need to be fired. And they will probably never work again.

    How dense do you need to be to run an ad like that in the year 2011? Seriously, it should be dead-obvious how racist that is.
    I don't think it's racist as it's part of a campaign so they created various depictions of the same concept. They have white/black models "re-civilizing" themselves. They guy who conceptualized this is probably some AIP graduate who went ahead with an idea and very little input was actually gathered from the targeted market.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    I don't think it's racist as it's part of a campaign so they created various depictions of the same concept. They have white/black models "re-civilizing" themselves. They guy who conceptualized this is probably some AIP graduate who went ahead with an idea and very little input was actually gathered from the targeted market.
    Ah, ok. Still, pretty bad. This concept that a haircut makes you "civilized" or not. What a landmine they stepped on.

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    Re: Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

    Quote Originally Posted by MistressNomad View Post
    Ah, ok. Still, pretty bad. This concept that a haircut makes you "civilized" or not. What a landmine they stepped on.
    Yep. It's the lack of actual communication between departments. I worked for L'Oreal and their marketing team in France a few years ago. Their HR and PR departments barely have any dialogue with the people in marketing. There is also a complete lack of market research beyond "what sells" and "what do men want to look like". Those who point out glaring issues are usually silenced by advertising agencies who just want to get paid for campaigns.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

    This is another case of the abuse of the term "racism" these days. Do you honestly think that word would come up if the ad was a white man preparing to toss a white head with a mullet?
    "With me everything turns into mathematics."
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    Re: Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathematician View Post
    This is another case of the abuse of the term "racism" these days. Do you honestly think that word would come up if the ad was a white man preparing to toss a white head with a mullet?
    Abuse? No. They have reason to believe it's racist. Nobody would say Johnny Depp, Antonio Banderas or Brad Pitt are "uncivilized" simply because they have long hair. The ad is unintentionally racist which is what I meant to say in my earlier posts. Nothing to go boycotting them about. Just companies who want to sell without doing market research.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathematician View Post
    This is another case of the abuse of the term "racism" these days. Do you honestly think that word would come up if the ad was a white man preparing to toss a white head with a mullet?
    Had it been confined to one race (as I mistakenly thought it was before Hautey clarified) it would be appropriate. Even applying it to white people with mullets, it's pretty offensive to say someone is or is not a civilized human being because of a haircut. Especially since people have associations when combining "uncivilized" with styles. A bush "savage" in the case of black people and "trailer trash" in the case of whites. Yeah, that's offensive. Yeah, it's equally offensive in either case. And a really stupid idea for an ad.

    I am unlikely to actually take up arms against offensive and stupid advertising. This is a free country. And I can vote with my dollars. But why shouldn't I call it what it is?

    Discrimination based on what people look like is very real. And it needs to be very seriously condemned.

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    Re: Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Abuse? No. They have reason to believe it's racist. Nobody would say Johnny Depp, Antonio Banderas or Brad Pitt are "uncivilized" simply because they have long hair. The ad is unintentionally racist which is what I meant to say in my earlier posts. Nothing to go boycotting them about. Just companies who want to sell without doing market research.
    You make my point that this ad insults hairstyle and NOT race.
    "With me everything turns into mathematics."
    "It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well."
    "It is truth very certain that, when it is not in one's power to determine what is true, we ought to follow what is more probable." -- Rene Descartes

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    Re: Nivea pulls ‘offensive’ ad

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathematician View Post
    This is another case of the abuse of the term "racism" these days. Do you honestly think that word would come up if the ad was a white man preparing to toss a white head with a mullet?


    So a mullet is uncivilized?

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