HUL announces its move towards skin color equality

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Hindustan Unilever’s ‘Fairness cream’ brand Fair & Lovely with its presence in the Indian market over the several decades, has been called out on multiple occasions for ‘racist’ advertising that often projects the white skin color a superior. This had finally made HUL decide to chuck the ‘Fair’ from the Fair & Lovely brand name. They are thinking of giving it a new name “Glow & Lovely” for women & “Glow & Handsome” for men.

The company is taking a new initiative to take forward the brand’s journey towards a more inclusive vision of beauty. Some other popular brands of HUL are ponds, Vaseline, and Dove. HUL extended to several other products like soap and face wash over the years. HUL also launched variants of Fair & Lovely for men. Some list of products from the brand bouquet that Fair & Lovely belonged to are Neutrogena  Fine Fairness  Brightening Serum, VLCC Ayurveda  White and Bright Glow Gel Cream,  Lakme Absolute Perfect Radiance  Skin Lighting Light Cream, L’Oréal White Perfect Cream, Lotus Herbals White glow Skin Whitening & Brightening Gel, Avon- Skin So Soft-Soft & Whitening Intensive Whitening Hand & Body Lotion. These brand names were also called out for their descriptions that are synonymous with fairness.

Even though it is unclear what the new brand name will be, it is expected to be a close synonym of the word ‘Fair’. HUL also made it clear that the descriptors like ‘fairness’, ‘white/whitening’, and ‘light/lighting’, ‘that could indicate a fairness-led transformation’, would be also removed from Fair & Lovely ‘s packaging. Fair& Lovely has been successful in the Indian market for years not only in terms of endurance but it was also used across both Urban and Rural India. Revenues generated by the brand annually is Rs 4,100 crore and commands over 70 percent of the fairness creams market in India.

Along with HUL ‘s announcement, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) also announced that it was discontinuing its skin whitening creams like Clean & Clear Fairness and Neutrogena’s Fine Fairness range of products. Even in the past, HUL had faced criticism for its ‘racist’ advertising many times. Brands that have their global presence are under serious pressure to come up with new strategies when the idea of fairness became unfair with the mass movement of ‘Black Lives Matter’.

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