- Unilever announced today that it will remove discriminating words like ‘fair/fairness’, ‘white/whitening’, and ‘light/lightening’ from its products’ packs and communication to build an inclusive vision of beauty. This will be a policy for all its beauty and skin care brands.
- As part of this decision, the Fair & Lovely brand name will be changed in the next few months.
- The brand said, “Fair & Lovely has never been, and is not, a skin bleaching product.”
- It also said the brand values have evolved and they do not align themselves with their old advertisements anymore.
As per company’s website, the idea behind updating its brand name is to ‘embrace and reflect a more inclusive vision of beauty.’ It will be shared once several legal and regulatory requirements are met in each country where the brand is available. This registration process is already underway, and they unveil the new brand name within the next few months.
It also said their brand values have evolved and they do not align themselves with their old advertisements anymore.
This move comes after Fair & Lovely faced a lot of backlash on social media for building unrealistic beauty standards and stereotyping skin tones.
Explaining what pushed the conglomerate to take this decision now, Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care, said, “We are fully committed to having a global portfolio of skin care brands that is inclusive and cares for all skin tones, celebrating greater diversity of beauty. We recognise that the use of the words ‘fair’, ‘white’ and ‘light’ suggest a singular ideal of beauty that we don’t think is right, and we want to address this. As we’re evolving the way that we communicate the skin benefits of our products that deliver radiant and even tone skin, it’s also important to change the language we use.”
“We have been working on the evolution of our Fair & Lovely brand, which is sold across Asia, progressively moving to a more inclusive vision of beauty that celebrates skin glow. We have changed the advertising, communication and – more recently – the packaging in South Asia, and we think it’s important that we now share the next step that we have been working on: changing the brand name. We will also continue to evolve our advertising, to feature women of different skin tones, representative of the variety of beauty across India and other countries. We want Fair & Lovely to become a brand that celebrates glowing and radiant skin, regardless of skin tone,” adds Jain.
In a statement released on its website, Unilever said ‘Fair & Lovely’s advertising has been changing since 2014, to a message of women empowerment.’ It upholds principles that no association should be made between skin tone and a person’s achievement, potential or worth.
About the old racist ads, HUL said, “We are aware that historic advertising is available on the internet; these ads are not aligned with the current values of the brand. In 2019, we reflected this evolution on the Fair & Lovely pack in India, removing before-and-after impressions and shade guides that could indicate a transformation; and we have progressed all communication of product benefits towards glow, even tone, skin clarity and radiance.”
The brand will now tweak its communication by concentrating on its functionalities, not skin bleaching aspect.
"Fair & Lovely has never been, and is not, a skin bleaching product. It uses a combination of vitamin B3, glycerine, UVA and UVB sunscreens," read the company's statement.
It further said, “The product is designed to improve skin barrier function, improve skin firmness and smoothen skin texture - all of which help enhance radiance and glow, as currently represented in advertising and communication.”
The brand will be renamed in a few months and is under legal registration process.