Unilever’s Indian unit Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has renamed its Fair & Lovely brand to "Glow & Lovely". The men's range of Fair & Lovely will also be called "Glow & Handsome". This comes a week after it said it is dropping the word “fair” from its "Fair & Lovely" products, after garnering heat for playing up insecurities in skin tones and promoting negative stereotypes against darker skinned women. In a statement, the company said the renaming is the next step to make its skin care portfolio a more inclusive one. It is added that Glow & Lovely will be on the shelves over the next few months, and future innovations will deliver on this new proposition.
Last week HUL said it would be introducing the new name and added that since early last year, the brand’s communication moved away from the benefits of fairness, whitening and skin lightening, towards glow, even tone, skin clarity and radiance, which are holistic measures of healthy skin.
The brand also removed from Fair & Lovely’s packaging, words such as ‘fair/fairness’, ‘white/whitening’, and ‘light/lightening’ that could indicate a fairness-led transformation. The cameo with two faces showing shade transformation, as well as the shade guides were also removed from the packs. The company said it will continue to evolve its advertising, to feature women of different skin tones, representative of the variety of beauty across India.
Earlier in June, Unilever said in an Instagram post that it is taking action to create systemic change to address institutionalised racism and social injustice. This came amidst the racial protests and the Black Lives Matter movement happening in the US, and the FMCG giant pledged more than US$1 million to date to organisations and activists working for social justice and racial equality. However, netizens called out Unilever for owning a “racist” product such as Fair & Lovely, and to drop the brand and issue an apology for “promoting colourism and racism in the South Asian culture for years”.
Separately, beauty brand L'Oreal will also reportedly use the terms "glow" or "even" to replace its "white" or "fair" terms used in some of its products designed to help even out skin tones, according to Reuters. Reuters also cited L’Oreal CEO Jean-Paul Agon who told investors that the rebranding was targeted at specific products, and is especially for treatments in Asia and countries such as India which are aimed at protecting skin from the sun and avoiding dark spots. It is added that Agon said the brand is "adapting" its vocabulary to meet changing expectations and attitudes.
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