New Delhi: In a major rebranding decision, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) announced Thursday that it will drop ‘Fair’ from the name of its flagship brand ‘Fair & Lovely’.
In a statement, the company said that the new name is awaiting regulatory approvals, which it expects to launch in the next few months.
“Taking forward the brand’s journey towards a more inclusive vision of beauty, the company will stop using the word ‘Fair’ in the brand name ‘Fair & Lovely,” noted HUL’s statement.
“The brand’s vision is to adopt a holistic approach to beauty that cares for people, that must be inclusive and diverse — for everyone, everywhere. The brand is committed to celebrating all skin tones,” it added
‘Fair & Lovely’ is a range of skincare products by HUL that have often come under fire for its discriminatory advertising and branding against darker skin tones.
Sanjiv Mehta, chairman and managing director of HUL, said, “We are making our skin care portfolio more inclusive and want to lead the celebration of a more diverse portrayal of beauty.”
In a separate statement, Sunny Jain, president of the beauty division at Unilever, the parent company, said, “Going forward, the brand will continue to evolve its advertising, to feature women of different skin tones, representative of the variety of beauty across India and other countries.”
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Black Lives Matter protests instigate questions on racism
HUL’s decision comes days after American multinational Johnson & Johnson announced that it will halt the sale of the Clean & Clear Fairness line that are sold in India and Neutrogena Fine Fairness line, which is available in Asia and the Middle East.
Fairness skincare products have come under renewed scrutiny after the Black Lives Matter protests in US against systemic racism. The protests led to many multinational companies being called out for their contribution towards racism in several countries.
Recently, Indian matrimonial site Shaadi.com also came under fire for launching a ‘skin-colour’ filter that allowed people to choose partners based on their skin colour. The filter has since been deleted.
Record sales for ‘Fair & Lovely’
‘Fair & Lovely’ is one of the most popular skincare products in India. According to a report, the ‘Fair & Lovely’ skincare range recorded sales of about Rs 4,000 crore in 2019 alone.
Furthermore, HUL had earlier claimed that 90 percent of Indian women want to use whiteners. “90 percent of Indian women want to use whiteners because it is aspirational, like losing weight. A fair skin is, like education, regarded as a social and economic step up,” the company had reportedly said.
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