Nivea has apologized and removed “white is purity” ad that was deemed discriminatory.
The ad was posted on the German skincare company’s Facebook page, geographically aimed at its followers in the Middle East. Nivea accepted the post was “misleading”.
Many on social media complained the post was racist, but it was also widely-shared among alt-right users.
The ad on the Nivea Facebook page (since deleted) was posted alongside the caption: “Keep it clean, keep it bright. Don’t let anything ruin it.”
The Facebook post was directed at its audience in the Middle East, although Nivea has 19 million fans globally on its page.
Many on social media complained about the post’s racist connotations.
However, the ad was also picked up by alt-right social media accounts who trolled the Nivea account with comments, including of Hitler and Pepe the frog, who was branded a hate symbol in 2016.
One alt-right account said: “#Nivea: the official moisturizer/anti-perspirant of the #AltRight.”
A spokesperson for Nivea’s owners Beiersdorf said: “There have been concerns risen about ethnic discrimination due to a post about NIVEA Deodorant Invisible for Black & White on our NIVEA Middle East Facebook page.
“We are deeply sorry to anyone who may take offense to this specific post. After realizing that the post is misleading, it was immediately withdrawn.
“Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of NIVEA: The brand represents diversity, tolerance, and equal opportunity.
“We value difference. Direct or indirect discrimination must be ruled out in all decisions by, and in all areas of our activities.”