August 22, 2011

"Skincare company Nivea... ad shows a black man in the act of throwing out a full-face mask which has a beard and an afro."

"The image is juxtaposed with the slogan 'Re-Civilize Yourself.'"

Of course, people cried "racism," and predictably, Nivea withdrew the ad. By why was Nivea dumb enough not to predict the outcry? Was it because they also had a white man ad? As if people seeing one ad would know about the other and appreciate the balance?

61 comments:

bagoh20 said...

I guess Black people just aren't strong enough to take such imagery without feeling pain. We must be very careful with them. They aren't as capable of laughing at themselves like the more sophisticated white people.

White people sure are a strong breed. You can do all kinds of shit to them and feel safe that they can handle it.

ricpic said...

Minor point but I don't think I've ever seen someone sporting an afro who is also bearded.

Scott M said...

beard+afro was big with athletes in days of yor.

Heart_Collector said...

If you think shit like that is racist, YOU are the problem.

Third Coast said...

I don't believe Nivea is a U.S. company. Their ad people might not be as sensitive to racial slights as the hillbillies here. Or maybe their ad people are more racist than the hillbillies here.

Fred4Pres said...

I find these ads annoying in a cloying stupid way, not racist.

Scott M said...

Their ad people might not be as sensitive to racial slights as the hillbillies here.

Last time I checked, there are very few hillbillies in the inner city, but the sensitivities are still pushed up to 11.

Pastafarian said...

As a descendant of Neanderthal, I'd like to play my race card (or would it be subspecies card) on Geico.

Not because of the "it's so easy a cave man could do it" slogan, but because of the way they portray the Neanderthal, with that douchey metro hipster guy in hairy makeup. Jesus, just the sound of that douchebag's voice, I'd like to club him in the face with a mastodon femur.

Alex said...

Pastafarian - UGG to you.

Pogo said...

And why no ad seeking the gay endorsement?

Homophobes!

"But why was Nivea dumb enough not to predict the outcry? "

I was at an art fair in Milwaukee this weekend (my son painted en plain air)

Amidst the usual art-seller tents was an exhibition for Milwaukee history with high school students on the banners.

The Nationally Approved Line-up was there:
2 blacks (boy and girl)
1 native-american (boy)
1 white girl
1 asian girl

No white male (phew!).
No gay or lesbian (hard to tell from a photo, but DANGER!).

I want to start a National Diversity Photo Center for anyone to submit a picture/ad/article and I can tell them why it's wrong or okay to publish. Sorta like the ratings at the movies.

The Crack Emcee said...

Why was Nivea dumb enough not to predict the outcry?

Maybe because it wasn't racist? Why are you dumb enough to think the way you do?

bagoh - ouch! (And thanks)

Pogo said...

Hey, is Palladian around? We could team up.

Seriously. Me and Crack Emcee and Palladian.

The PC Photo Shop.

Christ, this is awesome!

pm317 said...

For the white man ad the line was 'Sin city is not an excuse to look like hell'

for the black man ad 're-civilize yourself'

Don't see balance..They brought in the weight of civilization for one and youthful indiscretion for the other..

Scott M said...

Don't see balance..They brought in the weight of civilization for one and youthful indiscretion for the other...

Its completely balanced out by all the white guys breaking into houses on home security television ads. In light of that, what's the problem?

jr565 said...

I'm now insulted that the white picture went by without comment as if it were a given that we were uncivilized. Racism!

EDH said...

The mistake was not putting the white man and black man together.

Wake Up and Smile.

Scott M said...

The mistake was not putting the white man and black man together.

If you did that, La Raza would bitch. Anyone that would bitch about Boba Fett's dad being "hispanic" can't breath without an axe to grind.

Carol_Herman said...

So men would become customers?

Moms who serve fresh homemade chicken soup give their sons plenty of grease to schmear around, afterwards.

I always thought that's what napkins were for.

Besides. You can't sell facial creams to men who have whiskers, like you can sell cat food. Where whiskers apply.

AllenS said...

That was deep, Carol, real deep.

edutcher said...

The ad was for anybody who remembered the 60s.

The militants were very dark - as in humorless, hostile, etc.

MarkG said...

Not putting blacks into your advertisements is itself illegal discrimination, so Nivea has to find a way to fit them in.

They just need a separate ad theme for black people, preferably something that makes blacks seem so perfect that you just want to hug the next one you see.

MarkG said...

Every advertisement should have Morgan Freeman in it saying something wise.

James said...

Nivea is a brand of Beiersdorf, a large German company.

Here's a little secret: Europeans are far more racist than Americans.

Example: when a Black player enters the field in a European soccer match he might be greeted by bananas thrown from the stands. Reason: blacks are subhuman, closely related to monkeys. Get it? In addition to throwing bananas some of the fans make monkey noises.

(Imagine the same thing happening at a NFL or NBA game. Firstly, no one would understand the point and once they did the perp would have to run for his life.)

Just a hunch but I bet the creator of the ad was not American.

MadisonMan said...

I don't buy the excuse that Nivea is not an American Company and therefore might not have predicted this.

Any multinational will employ Americans just for the purpose of vetting ad copy to make sure it's not running afoul of some cultural idiom.

Either the person employed by Nivea to do this is someone to be fired, or the Company -- for questionable, obviously, reasons -- decided to eliminate the position.

The ad company should definitely have predicted what would happen, too. No one operates in a vacuum anymore.

S said...

If they were trying to be racist, the "uncivilized" mask would be black but the model would be white. The ad as done doesn't imply that blackness is uncivilized, it implies that hair is uncivilized. Perhaps the Hair Anti-Defamation League should be complaining, but charges of racism are stupid.

Scott M said...

The ad as done doesn't imply that blackness is uncivilized, it implies that hair is uncivilized.

Don't try to obscure the obvious racism involved here with common sense.

Mary said...
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Mary said...
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JellyBelly said...

This is advertising 101 people. Any publicity is good publicity. No one is necessarily racist here. Nivea gets their name repeated by major media associated with skincare for african american male and females. After a while most people will forget or at the very least racists will by their crap. It's just smart marketing strategy. Should be the progressives who are freaked out by the suggestion of racism and demographics tells Nivea that conservative/libertarians are by far the majority of the public; that's who they're actually marketing to. They're also betting that that part of the general public isn't as stupid or quick-tempered as the minority (although a loud minority) who are offended by the lack of political correctness in addressing their product as only Afro-Sheen can.

MarkG said...

I'm so offended by the PC that I'm going to boycott their product until I forget about the offense, which is probably sometime this afternoon.

Heart_Collector said...

In Jamacia blacks are trying to get lighter. In a lot of other places whites tan and use chemicals to get darker. I carry on living my life.


Wv-revend- Revenge of the Reverent

Phil 3:14 said...

For the white man ad the line was 'Sin city is not an excuse to look like hell'

for the black man ad 're-civilize yourself'

Don't see balance..They brought in the weight of civilization for one and youthful indiscretion for the other..


You don't get it:

White men are the devil

phx said...

Maybe the Nivea ad people were just really ahead of their time and they wanted to believe the wheels of commerce wouldn't have to grind to a screeching halt.

Maybe they should be admired.

phx said...

MarkG, I always feel a good nap will help me get over my hurt feelings.

Heart_Collector said...

There's thousasnds of babies dying in Somalia from hunger as we grind up corn into inefficient fuel. But racists are up in arms about a fucking skin care ad.

Aim higher imo.

Heart_Collector said...

As islamo terrorists steal their food drops... And were busy helping the muslim brotherhood create euroilstan.

Can we stop nation building and maybe help those who really need it?

As we rebuild afgania for people killing us at everychance. There's a lot of refugees living in twig huts.

If I was a race mongering liberal I would probably be more worried about that then the skincare ad. But I'm not so ill go play some more xbox.

Muslims are the new nigger for demos to save, to them black people don't even count... The president is from kenyan descent? I bet he sleeps soundly to.

Coketown said...

As a racist (hi garage!), I find the nivea ad decidedly un-racist. But it does commit a venial sin in the eyes of liberals in that it portrays blacks as normal. Blacks are to be either glorified or ignored entirely, which is the lesson drawn from the backlash to this ad: Don't put blacks in ads unless it's in the context of the Old Spice guy, who is ubermensch maximus and far superior to any white man on earth.

Afros aren't uncivilized. Long hair and a scruffy face is uncivilized. And black people with long hair typically have afros. Should nivea have straightened the black model's hair? Maybe airbrush it blond so long as we're defying the laws of genetics.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Mary said...

Did it ever occur to you, maybe MADISON, where you live, is the vacuum...

MadisonMan - I think what Mary is saying is that Madison sucks.

Indigo Red said...

Had the ad lines been reversed, there would have been no out cry. And far less free publicity,too.

pm317 said...

Phil 3:14 said...

You don't get it:

White men are the devil
------------------------

May be I don't, may be I do. How many think of white men as the devil? The 're-civilize' stereotype is that of a black man as Macaaca. Who thinks that, right? George Allen, VA republican did recently.

Look, I don't care one way or another. But I am looking at this from the ad agency's eyes and their mistake was to do two separate ads (like Ann says) and then thinking there is balance.

traditionalguy said...

Civilized is a concept that Greeks started and educational institutions structured as Greek academies continue today.

So what's wrong with dark skinned Greeks and light skin Greeks being sold a product?

They both need to be olive skinned, mabe.

Nivea sells Skin Products to everybody based on their desires to look a certain way...civilized.

For Nivea that was a well done ad.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Where I grew up, down in Dixie, Blacks used Nivea lotion almost exclusively. At least that's how I remember it.

Trooper York said...

ricpic said...
Minor point but I don't think I've ever seen someone sporting an afro who is also bearded


What you never saw a photo of Angela Davis?

She was one hairy beyootch.

Trooper York said...

I do know that Michael Jackson loved Nivea.

I saw that on Access Hollywood.

chickenlittle said...

The man is simply upgrading from disheveled to "sheveled."

____________
wv = "shevelization" (OK not really)

Jose_K said...

Example: when a Black player enters the field in a European soccer match he ...but if will happens to the visitor team. When their own african player score a goal their will cheer for him.Only because is our african.

Jose_K said...

I said african because many of them , some of the best,are from Africa .The rest hail from Brasil or caribbean colonies

Richard Fagin said...

I am reminded of a program that ran on PBS here in Houston in 1990 when Africanized honeybees were about to cross the border into Texas from Mexico. The program showed a small clip of an educational cartoon made in Mexico to edcuate their citizens about the charcateristics and dangers of Africanized bees. The cartoon clip showed a bee with dark face, afro hairdo, spear and shield chasing the "white" European honeybee. I can just imagine the howls if a cartonn like that had been made in the U.S.

Then there was the African American woman who screamed bloody murder when she saw a Menin Pinguin cartoon book on a Wal Mart magazine rack.

I'm so sick of black people finding racism in every little thing I'm almost ready to move to Mexico. You think Americans are anti-black racists? Hahahahaha!

Phil 3:14 said...

How many think of white men as the devil?

Elijah Mohammed did. Malcolm X did (for awhile at least). Doubt Louis Farrakhan has a high opinion of them either.

Heart_Collector said...

I don't think the problem is blacks I think its white demos who give them the crutch of white guilt to lean on.

Heart_Collector said...

Enablers. Give blacks problems THEY have the solutions to.

Sounds a lot like tobacco companys, crack and heroin dealers, and democrats. In order of redpectability starting with most.

jr565 said...

How about Nivea doesn't hire black people to be in their advertising, so as to avoid the hassle of suffering fools gladly and paying for the privilege.

This reminds me of this commercial:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xBydH93eDY

Would you please pass the Jelly! That part should only be given to white people. If a black person were to say that, it would be racism. The white guy can be the uncivilized hick who makes the faux pas of calling Polaner all fruit Jelly, and red neckers can be mocked.
I suppose the black people could play the hoi poloi in the ad who are dressed in the suits and acting all upper crusty. The servant who fans the woman who passed out, can NEVER be played by a black (since blacks rankle at the idea that they would only play butters maids slaves and hoes. For fucks sake, if they want diversity in their casting choices, why charge racism when Nivea actually puts them in an ad where they get to be an everyman?

Youngblood said...

There are two possibilities.

Nivea is a German company. While Germans aren't Nazis anymore, they're still kind of oblivious when it comes to racial and ethnic sensitivity; it's weird.

So one possibility is that whoever gave the ad the greenlight didn't realize that there'd be any objections.

The second possibility is the "Benneton Strategy" -- the intentional use of controversial imagery to increase the value of an ad, which is really effective for brand-driven marketing.

Personally, I think that the second possibility is far more likely than the first.

el polacko said...

so now it's 'racist' to suggest that a dark-skinned person can be unkempt?! jeeze, louise...i give up.

Synova said...

If they have an ad with a white man and don't have any ads with men of color, it would be racist, too.

No matter the graphics, telling a black man to "recivilize" himself would be seen by some as racist.

No win.

zbogwan99 said...

Nivea should have had the black dude holding Maxine Waters ugly head and pitching it away. She certainly could use some Re-Civilizing herself for sure?

Jilly said...

I don't believe, Nivea is a US company. Their ad people might not be as sensitive to racial slights, as the hillbillies here. Or maybe their ad people are more racist than the hillbillies here.
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Big DAWNN! said...

@ricpic

In fact, you made a major point.

http://madamenoire.com/66914/was-the-new-nivea-ad-campaign-for-men-culturally-insensitive/2/

Now you have. ;0) Seen someone sporting an afro who is also bearded, I mean. BTW, You are looking at Questlove, drummer and musician-extraordinaire of The Roots, who also are Jimmy Fallon's houseband.

Big DAWNN! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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