Nivea Apologizes For Ad After 'Re-Civilize' Ad Causes Outrage

Niveas re-civilize ad for the popular “Look like you give a damn” campaign, which caused outrage this week.

Nivea has apologized for its 're-civilize' ad that sparked racial controversy, as well as withdrawing the offensive print ad.

The ad for the popular “Look like you give a damn” campaign caused outrage this week after they released the new ad, reports The New York Times.

It showed a well-groomed, clean-shaven black man about to toss away a rubber mask of his earlier self with facial hair and an afro.

Over the model, words in giant font read: RE-CIVILIZE YOURSELF.

The scandal stemming from the ad was immediate, with many calling the ad racist. Nona Willis Aronowitz at Good said “the message couldn't be clearer.”

“Natural hair on a black man isn't a style preference or a nod to afrocentrism — it's straight-up uncivilized,” she said, The NY Times reports.

Questlove, a musician who often tweets about race issues, was angered by the ad, tweeting Thursday: “Lotion with a 38-year-old stripper’s name really wants my head off. Uncivilized? #[expletive]Nivea.”

Within hours, Nivea had apologized. On its Facebook page, the company wrote: “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,” they said, The NY Times reports.

The ad is already printed in the September issue of Esquire, and Nivea still runs other variations of the ad. One of the ads features a white male model and rubber head, with no text about “re-civilization.” “The message there seems to be that white men ... [are] already civilized, they just don’t look like it,” writes Justin Fenner at Styleite of the difference between the two ads, reports CNN. “But black men, according to Nivea’s brand messaging, are inherently uncivilized and can only become civilized if they forsake what comes out of their hair follicles naturally.” Underneath the apology on Nivea’s Facebook page, nearly 100 commenters argued Friday over whether the apology had made up for Nivea’s mistake. A commenter named Cami Frasier wrote: “Wow! What an awesome wall post. Thank you for this ... I am thankful that your company is willing to change when others do NOT agree.” Others were not convinced. Commenter Maliyka A Muhammad wrote that the fact that the ad was published “means that you meant what you said,” The Daily Mail reports. She said she did not accept the company’s apology because “The apology in itself is a marketing ploy. Moving on.”
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