Hindustan Unilever, the Indian subsidiary of the global consumer goods giant, announced Thursday that it “would stop using the word ‘Fair’ in the brand” of its range of skin creams.
The decision was made to shift to “a more inclusive vision of beauty,” the company said in a statement.
In India, the preference for lighter skin has long been a controversial issue. Activists opposed to using skin-lightening cosmetics say that some of Bollywood’s best-known stars have perpetuated the trend by lending their names and faces to ad campaigns promoting “fair” creams.
Hindustan Unilever acknowledged in its statement on Thursday that it had previously played “the benefits of fairness, whitening and skin lightening” by marketing its products.
He said he was looking to get away from that starting last year, removing all mention of “words like ‘fair / fair’, ‘white / whitening’ and ‘clear / clear'” on the packaging of “Fair & Precious” skin creams .
The company now chooses to emphasize the “shine, even tone, clarity and radiance of the skin,” he said.
“The brand has never been and is not a bleaching product,” he added.
Hindustan Unilever advertises itself as one of the largest consumer goods companies in India and claims that its products reach nine out of 10 households in the country.
The proposed new brand is subject to regulatory approval and is likely to take effect sometime in the coming months, the company said Thursday.
– Swati Gupta and Monica Sarkar of CNN contributed to this report.