What a week for advertising.
Not even a full 24 hours since Pepsi began receiving backlash for its tone-deaf Kendall Jenner ad, German skincare maker Nivea is the subject of widespread uproar after releasing an ad with the cringeworthy slogan: “white is purity.”
Initially posted on Nivea’s Middle East Facebook page with the caption “Keep it clean, keep it bright. Don’t let anything ruin it,” the ad was deemed racist by many on social media and shared by right wing groups supporting white supremacist views, reports CNN.
The ad was soon removed from the page by Beiersdorf, which owns Nivea, citing “concerns about ethnic discrimination.”
“We are deeply sorry to anyone who may take offense to this specific post,” the Hamburg-based company said in a statement. “After realizing that the post is misleading, it was immediately withdrawn.”
Pepsi and Nivea’s missteps prompted the resurfacing of a 2006 PlayStation ad in which the popular brand proclaims that “PlayStation Portable White is coming.” The accompanying image depicts a white woman, who’s dressed in all white, aggressively grabbing the jaw of Black woman, dressed in all black.
While the PSP Updates blog acknowledged the ad as “horrifically ill-advised,” a Sony spokesperson appeared to defend the campaign, reportedly telling Gamesindustry.biz:
“A variety of different treatments have been created as a campaign to either highlight the whiteness of the new model or contrast the black and the white models. Central to this campaign has been the creation of some stunningly photographed imagery, that has been used on large billboards throughout Holland.”