It is a bit shocking to see a man holding just a head. As part of its "Look Like You Give a Damn" campaign, Nivea ran a image of a black man with short hair and no beard throwing what is intended to be his former self with longer hair and a full beard. The slogan reads: "Re-civilize Yourself."
"Although Nivea has several other ads with the words 'Look like you give a damn,' and one where a white guy is holding a long-haired mask, none of them mention anything about civilization. The fact is, the ad itself is still racist even if it is part of a larger campaign. A person flipping through a magazine won't know the context. All they'll think of is a vicious stereotype of black people that still endures, and all they'll see is a black man trying to fit into a white world by shedding his former 'uncivilized' self."
Nivea quickly posted an apology on its Facebook wall:
"Thank you for caring enough to give us your feedback about the recent 'Re-civilized' NIVEA FOR MEN ad. 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. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of our company."
- Do you consider the ad racist? Why or why not? If not, can you see why people may have been offended?
- How do you assess Nivea's response? Was apologizing the right thing to do, and is the company's FB wall post effective?