Unilever will change the name of its Fair & Lovely skin lightening cream, one of India’s most popular skincare products, becoming the latest multinational to alter product ranges under pressure over racial stereotyping.
The move to rebrand the 45-year-old product follows a decision by rival Johnson & Johnson last week to stop selling skin-lightening lotions as part of its Neutrogena and Clean & Clear ranges.
Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, said on Thursday that it would unveil a new brand name for Fair & Lovely “in the next few months”. Fair & Lovely makes more than $500 million (RM 2 billion) a year for the company in India alone.
“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,” said Sunny Jain, president of Unilever’s beauty and personal care division.
“The brand is committed to celebrating all skin types. We are making our skincare portfolio more inclusive and want to lead the celebration of a more diverse portrayal of beauty. In 2019, we removed the cameo with two faces and the shade guides from the packaging of Fair & Lovely and the brand communication progressed from fairness to glow which is a more inclusive measure of healthy skin,” said Sanjiv Mehta head of India’s Hindustan Unilever, said in a statement.
“We are making our skincare portfolio more inclusive and want to lead the celebration of a more diverse portrayal of beauty,” Mehta said.