WILTON, CT - Skin care company Nivea has apologized for an advertisement they placed in Esquire that featured a clean cut Black male throwing a mask of a face with an Afro and beard with the title “Look Like You Give a Damn. Re-civilize Yourself.”
The ad for Nivea for Men appeared in the September issue of Esquire magazine.
Reactions came quick as people quickly turned to social networking and Twitter to voice displeasure over the ad.
AdWeek.com wrote, “The image isn’t going over well, particularly with those who think the head kind of looks like Cornel West. There is a White-man version, but there’s no talk of re-civilizing him.”
Nivea's parent company, Beiersdorf AG, said in a statement, "We are deeply sorry to anyone who may take offense to this specific local advertisement. After realizing that this ad is misleading, it was immediately withdrawn."
The statement went on to say that "Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of NIVEA: The brand represents diversity, tolerance, and equal opportunity. We value difference. Direct or indirect discrimination must be ruled out in all decisions by, and in all areas of our activities. This applies regardless of gender, age, race, skin color, religion, ideology, sexual orientation, or disability. Nor should cultural, ethnic, or national origin, and political or philosophical conviction be of any significance."