The photo has been used for illstrative purpose.
Hindustan Unilever will drop the word “fair” from its “Fair & Lovely” brand of skin lightening products which are popular in South Asia but have long been criticised for promoting negative stereotypes against people with darker skin.
Companies face a mounting backlash on social media in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Products marketed for skin lightening have a huge market in South Asia due to a societal obsession with fairer skin tones, but those notions are being questioned more frequently as perceptions change.
Johnson & Johnson this month said it would stop selling skin-whitening creams which are popular in Asia and the Middle East.
A customer picks up 'Fair & Lovely' brand of skin lightening product from a shelf in a shop in Ahmedabad, India. Reuters
“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,” Sunny Jain, president of Unilever’s beauty and personal care division, said in a statement.
Unilever’s ‘Fair & Lovely’ brand dominates the market in South Asia. Similar products are also sold by L’Oréal and Procter & Gamble. “We are making our skin care portfolio more inclusive...a more diverse portrayal of beauty,” Hindustan Unilever Chairman Sanjiv Mehta said in a separate statement.
Unilever owns a 67 per cent stake in Hindustan Unilever, its India unit. The companies also sell the popular Dove and Knorr range of products. In India, fairness products have long been endorsed by leading Bollywood celebrities, as well as other popular youth icons. Advertisements have regularly featured two faces showing skin tone transformation, as well as shade guides to show “improvement”.
Hindustan Unilever said it had moved from that line of advertising in 2019, and “will continue to evolve its advertising to feature women of different skin tones, representative of the variety of beauty across India.”
The brand name change is subject to regulatory approvals, the company said in a filing to the exchanges. It did not specify what the new name would be.
A source in the parent company told Reuters that alternatives like “Dare & Lovely, “Care & Lovely,” or “Fresh & Lovely” were being considered, but products with the old brand name will not be recalled.
“A recall is done when the product has a problem, please bear in mind the quality is not under the scanner, the name is,” the source said. This month activists started petitions on Change.Org, drawing thousands of signatures, including one by Nina Davuluri, who in 2014 became the first Indian American to be crowned Miss America.
“I have goosebumps as I read this! Kudos to you @Unilever,” Chandana Hiran, a Mumbai-based finance executive who started a Change.org petition called #allshadesarelovely, tweeted on Thursday.
In the report, only three actors names are cited, those who applaud the removal of the word fair from Unilever’s Fair and Lovely (“Bollywood celebs laud cosmetic company for dropping ‘Fair’ from skin lightening products,” June 27, Gulf Today).
Actress-model Bipasha Basu shared a long post on Instagram while addressing the deep-rooted stigma attached with skin colour, mentioning how she had to deal with being described as "dusky" all her life, while speaking of the issue.
French cosmetic giant L'Oreal announced that it was removing words like "whitening" from its products, against the backdrop of global anti-racism protests as big business wakes up to the issue.
The US economy grew at a record pace in the third quarter as the government injected more than $3 trillion worth of pandemic relief which fueled consumer spending, but the deep scars from the COVID-19 recession could take a year or more to heal.
Aircraft manufacturers are hit by the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry. The number of global commercial aircraft orders was zero during the month of September.
Peugeot manufacturer PSA Group returned to revenue growth in its core autos division in the third quarter, recovering from a slump during coronavirus lockdowns, though the prospect of new restrictions hit French shares.
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) trimmed its economic growth and inflation forecasts for the current fiscal year (2020-21) on Thursday but offered a more upbeat view on the recovery outlook, signalling that it has delivered enough stimulus for the time being.