Amid a global debate on racial inequality and conventional beauty standards, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has announced that it would re-brand its flagship product Fair & Lovely by removing the word ‘Fair’ from the brand name.
The new name for the product, HUL said, was awaiting regulatory approvals and that the company expected to bring a new name in the next few months.
The consumer goods company’s decision comes one week after American multinational Johnson and Johnson announced that it would stop the sale of two fairness products that had been sold in India.
We’re committed to a skin care portfolio that’s inclusive of all skin tones, celebrating the diversity of beauty. That’s why we’re removing the words ‘fairness’, ‘whitening’ & ‘lightening’ from products, and changing the Fair & Lovely brand name.https://t.co/W3tHn6dHqE
— Unilever #StaySafe (@Unilever) June 25, 2020
Fair and Lovely is HUL’s flagship skincare product and reports suggest that it generates $560 million in annual sales. It also holds a 50-70 per cent share of the skin whitening market in India.
In a statement, HUL said that over the last decade, Fair & Lovely’s advertising had evolved to communicate a message of women empowerment. The company claimed to have removed words such as ‘fair/fairness’, ‘white/whitening’, and ‘light/lightening’ from Fair & Lovely’s packaging.
According to HUL, the brand’s vision was to adopt a holistic approach to beauty that cared for people and should be inclusive and diverse for everyone and everywhere. The brand was committed to celebrating all skin tones, it added.
HUL also justified its fairness product saying the brand’s communication moved away from the benefits of whitening, fairness, and skin lightening from the beginning of 2019. It moved towards glow, skin clarity and radiance, even tone, which are holistic measures of healthy skin.
“The company will continue to evolve its advertising, to feature women of different skin tones, representative of the variety of beauty across India,” the company said in a statement.
Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director, HUL was quoted as saying that they (HUL) were making the skincare portfolio more inclusive and want to lead the celebration of a more diverse portrayal of beauty. He added that in 2019, they removed the cameo with two faces and the shade guides from the packaging of Fair and Lovely. These changes were very well received by consumers.
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Earlier this week, Johnson and Johnson said that its Neutrogena Fine Fairness cream, which is sold in Asia and the Middle East, as well as Clean & Clear fairness cream, which sold only in India, will not be sold anymore.