Unilever’s ‘Fair and Lovely’ skincare products in India to be renamed

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.

Businesses around the world have been adjusting their brands in recent weeks in response to protests against racial discrimination triggered by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, at the hands of police in the United States. Over the past month, several major companies have renamed or recalled products, including Quaker Oats with their Aunt Jemima brand in the United States and Nestlé with their Red Skins and Boys candy in Australia.

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.

Why does Bollywood use the offensive practice of brownface in the movies?
Beauty brands have generally enjoyed a booming global business in skin lightening products. Prior to the recent backlash, the international skin whitening cosmetics market was forecast to reach more than $ 6.5 billion by 2025, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts.

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.