Hindustan Unilever to drop ‘fair’ from ‘Fair and Lovely’ product line

The brand name change is subject to regulatory approvals, the company said

June 25, 2020 03:07 pm | Updated 06:12 pm IST - MUMBAI/ISLAMABAD

 File picture of a pedestrian walking past the Hindustan Unilever Limited headquarters in Mumbai January 19, 2015.

File picture of a pedestrian walking past the Hindustan Unilever Limited headquarters in Mumbai January 19, 2015.

The Indian unit of Unilever said on Thursday it will drop the word “fair” from its “Fair & Lovely” range of products, which have long been criticised for promoting negative stereotypes against people with darker skin.

The move comes as cosmetics companies have seen an increasing amount of backlash on social media in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement .

Also read:Black lives and the experiment called America

“We are making our skin care portfolio more inclusive ... a more diverse portrayal of beauty,” Hindustan Unilever Chairman Sanjiv Mehta said in a statement. The company also sells the popular Dove and Knorr range of products.

Sources had told Reuters earlier that the company was considering such changes.

Products marketed as skin lightening have a huge market in South Asia due to a societal obsession with fairer skin tones, but those notions are being questioned more frequently.

“We recognise that the use of the words fair, white and light suggest a singular ideal of beauty that we dont think is right, and we want to address this,” Sunny Jain, Unilever's president of its beauty and personal care division, said in a separate statement.

Unilever's 'Fair & Lovely' brand dominates the market in South Asia. Similar products are also sold by L'Oréal and Procter & Gamble.

The 'Fair & Lovely' brand name change is subject to regulatory approvals, Hindustan Unilever said. The company did not say what the new brand name would be.

Separately, a source within L'Orşal in India said the company was also having discussions in view of the backlash.

Also read:HUL steps up effort in its war against COVID-19 in India

“Words such as skin brightening, whitening, lightening could soon become a thing of the past on all labels and product sales pitches,” the source said.

L'Orşal India declined to comment. An email to L'Oréal in France did not elicit an immediate response.

Johnson & Johnson said this month it would stop selling skin-whitening creams.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.