Nivea, a personal care brand known for its skin- and body-care products, is currently facing an onslaught of criticism for a skin-lightening product it launched in Africa, which, allegedly, specifically targets black women.
The new product, called the Natural Fairness Body Lotion, promises a "visibly fairer" complexion to whoever uses it on their skin. Per a report in Newsweek, the lotion is being advertised in the African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Senegal via commercials and billboards, with the former Miss Nigeria, Omowunmi Akinnifesi, serving as the face of the campaign.
"I need a product that I can really trust to restore my skin's natural fairness," a black woman narrates in the television spot, with her skin literally transforming into a lighter shade as she applies the cream to her body. "Now, I have visibly fairer skin, making me feel younger."
Nivea's new campaign, which launched earlier this week, has already drawn a vast amount of critics who have voiced concern about the skin-lightening aspect of the product on social media.
This isn't the first time in 2017 that the German company has been in hot water for its choice in advertising. In the spring, Nivea's "white is purity" photo campaign in the Middle East was almost immediately pulled after facing a backlash. "That image was inappropriate and not reflective of our values as a company," the brand later said in a statement.
The article was published on allure.com