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19 August 2011



I used to by NIVEA products. However after seeing this I am going to have a change of heart and spend my hard earned cash elsewhere! Shame on them!


Not a good look Nivea! Should have thought about this more! However, that being said, maybe that was the problem!


Very tacky ad. And they were fully aware of the message inherent in that. There are too many people involved in a campaign for that to be a mistake. That is shameful.


This is the new thing. Say something you know is offensive and wrong, and then a make half assed apology.

Distant Lover

I concur with the above statements. First, it's the political elements that sets the tone with "Tar Baby" and "Oreo" comments, now the business sector follows up with blatantly racist ads, and then the world follows suit. Institutionalized racism, created by Satan, perfected by the good ole' U.S of A.

Kevin P.

The WREAKS of 16th century mentality where it was the job of good, righteous, pure, Nordic, angelic, European Christians to civilize the inferior races and their primitive ways....And it finds its way in the present....

Kevin P.

And what the hell is wrong with having a Afro? Is that uncivil. If I were Black or had kinky hair, I would SO rock that. The world and everyone else, be damned.


I was going to go buy some Nivea facial scrub today. Not now!


While I personally am offended by the ad, I don't know if people are offended cause a white owned company did it or because of the message, meaning, I know plenty of "refined" black folks who act this message out everyday. So, are we mad at them for calling some of us out or mad because it reminds us of what we have become? Both? Neither? Other?


I have a beard so I am very offended by the ad and don't think it should ever been used in the first place. You can have a fro and a beard and be civilized and I get so tired of major corporations trying to tell BLACK MEN what is appropiate and many of them are not BLACK.


The ingredient composition in Nivea products are uncivilized. What idiots. They have lost me as a consumer.


The problem prob comes from a lack of african americans in leadership positions in the company. Otherwise, someone would have caught this before it went out. White people don't think about the racist stuff they say or do. That's white privilege.


Major misfire. It's almost laughable if it wasn't so offensive.


I know it might sound crazy, but I'm willing to bet the ad was concieved by a black person, maybe even a black ad agency. The ad smacks of buppie self hatred. Honestly, most white folks especially in corporate America see black people as all the same. That ad was clearly more class distiction than race. Thats the first thing I saw. Anybody else see this?


THANK YOU JP your comments and viewpoint is RIGHT on target...I use Nivea and will continue to do so...I wish there was more outrage here and elsewhere for the most "harmful" things presented, endorsed and supported within the "black community" by other blacks...yes the ad can be seen as a failure but we are talking about a company that has not committed this act repeatedly...oh well time for me to condition my skin with Nivea and keep on stepping up as a "refined" black gay man

Chitown Kev


Maybe...but bourgies know what lines not to cross in the public.

They would keep that type of thing "within the family."

J in L.A.

I'm primarily offended by the image of a beheaded brown man (implied to represent barbarism) being tossed away like garbage.

I would have been less offended by a side-by-side before-and-after comparison of the same person; and done the same for ALL of the ads without regard to race...sort of like Tom Hanks in Castaway before and after his rescue.

The ad MIGHT have been conceived and approved by a chain of persons clueless to the potential harmful interpretation...except for "civilize" only being applied to the black model.


I used to work for a company that requires its male employees to be clean-shaven (beard-free). It seems that many in society seem to think facial hair indicates something unsavory to hide.

It's okay to be clean-shaven, but a moustache, beard, sideburns and long hair are not an accurate indication of character and professional conduct and should not be used as such.


Although I find the ad racially insensitive, shortsighted and ignorant, I personally do not believe that this was an intentional slight to black men by Nivea. They are trying to MAKE money, not lose it. So for this to be intentional would be counterproductive. Plus they pulled the ad and apologized, which would not have happened if they were trying to be wicked.

I agree with what has already been said by others in this thread: it is the lack of Blacks in decision-making positions in media that causes these tasteless ads (AND commercials, AND movies, AND tv shows, AND...) to be created in the first place. White people think that our worlds are exactly the same with color being the only difference. The don't understand that different images have different meanings when the color is changed. What Black men should do is contact Nivea and demand that they diversify their staff who oversee these things and insist they use ad agencies that cater to diverse audiences. I'll bet that the agency that created this ad has already been given the heave-ho.

Donny D.

Believe me, there are white people who can tell how racist this ad is at first glance, but now I'm wondering how many or few of us there are.


I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT when corporations show their "NATURAL" (pun intended) behinds like this and remind us that we always have the power to SHUT IT DOWN!

WOE TO NIVEA and they really need to do something other than--OOPS!

Don't forget about this NEXT WEEK, brothers! It would behoove us to keep the irons under their feet burning red hot!

Thanks for this Rod2.0!


I agree with the comments that have been posted, but here's a question that often comes to my mind, why do the models, actors, etc. accept these particular assignments, knowing that they portray people of color in a negative light? When I was younger, I used to wonder why some Black/African-American or Hispanic actors accepted roles that reinforced negative stereotypes of people of color (those of you who are my age remember that when we were in the movies, we were usually cast in the role of a pimp, thug, prostitute, convict, or ex-convict).

Chitown kev


Perhaps the model didn't know that this ad would be used in this way for this ad campaign.

remember the story of the woman in...New York, I believe, who had shots of her daughter taken and then she protested when they were used for highly offensive and racist anti-abortion ads.

These models (and all but the top tier models in fact) may sign releases and relinquish control of these pictures as part of their contract simply in order to get the work (isn't that what happened with those girl-to-girl pics with Vanessa Williams back in the day?)


Diuv you hit the nail on the head. I was thinking the same as you and now here is the info on the house negro in charge.

J in L.A.

The clutchmagonline link posted by bellah gives more clarity to the issue.

It also shows a "white" version of the ad.

I still find the disembodied head concept as dehumanizing, but at least it's not aimed at just one race. I guess modern advertising is all about shock value.


"White people think that our worlds are exactly the same with color being the only difference. [They] don't understand... different meanings..."

Valid point. I've noticed that coworkers, customers and others often don't get what the big deal is about various issues (blackface; use of n-word by non-blacks; etc.).
They did not live through or get raised by people who lived Jim Crow as a fact of daily life; law-supported threat of bodily harm for getting "out of our place".


Although Im as liberal as they come and do think that racism is alive and well... I am not bothered at all by this ad.. I think a mountain is being made of a molehill. I think the ad is geared towards black men who like being clean cut.

I thin k Nivea needs to have more ads featuring black men ...period!

Dont shoot me!

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