Unilever adapts advertisements and products: no longer ‘normal’ and no Photoshop

Unilever has informed the Reuters news agency. It is a global adjustment. What it means for Dutch products is currently unclear.

In recent years, there has been several fuss about Unilever advertisements and products. For example, in 2017 the company withdrew an advertisement for the Dove brand. It showed how a black woman took off her t-shirt, after which a white woman emerged.

Fuss in various countries

Dove apologized for the advertisement, which was labeled racist. A product was also renamed in India because the old name gave the impression that dark skin is inferior. In South Africa, a hair product was taken off the shelves after a fuss about an advertisement.

Unilever is coming up with adjustments to show more inclusivity. The word ‘normal’ disappears from more than 100 packages. These are products that made certain hair types or skin colors appear as not normal. For example, in hair products it is replaced by ‘gray hair’ and in skin products by ‘rehydrating’. The products will be adjusted in the coming year.

‘A first step’

“We realize that just removing ‘normal’ will not solve the problem,” Unilever told Reuters. “But we do believe it is an important step towards more inclusive beauty products.”

The company not only adapts products, the advertising strategy is also being overhauled. From now on, body shapes, proportions and skin color will no longer be digitally adjusted, the company promises.


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