Home > Marketing, News > Once you go black, you Can go back!

Once you go black, you Can go back!

Rohit Sharma

“I cannot believe its 2010”, a reviewer of the controversial Vaseline Men Be Prepared application rants on Facebook. Another reviewer goes, “Supporting the maintenance of insecurities about the need for lighter skin is one of the most unscrupulous things a company could do to young men and women the world over. UNILEVER = modern world fail.”

Source: Amul

Hindustan Unilevel Ltd (HUL) and controversies go hand in hand. The issue has always remained the same- they want all of us to “whiten” our skin or how many call it, get “fair”. Companies leading products like Fair & Lovely and Pond’s have always kept the women’s skin lightening debate on rage and this time men are also involved.

‘Vaseline for Men’ has launched a unique application on Facebook that asks you to upload your photograph, which you can then lighten and keep as you profile picture. The application has attracted over 900 fans and almost 9000 monthly users. However, the reviews of the application aren’t every appealing- Based on over 70 reviews, the fairness calculator has received paltry 1.6 stars out of 5. Many are offended by the application and demanding it to be removed. 

According to the research agency AC Nielsen, the Indian market in skin-whitening creams for men and women is now worth over US$430 million and is growing at nearly 18% a year.

FICCI, says that the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) market in India is worth Rs 1200 billion and HUL has a share of Rs 80 billion in it.

Top Bollywood stars- Shahrukh Khan, John Abraham, Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan have been promoting men’s skin lightening agents for sometime.  

A member of Facebook group called India against fairness creams comments, “The real issue with it, just like with any beauty campaign, is that it’s taking advantage of people’s poor body image to make a profit. But there are countless products and companies that do this every day all across the world. Entire industries are dedicated to it. If you’re going to be upset about one of them you should be upset about all of them.”  

Do you think it’s another shade of racism or merely a marketing campaign gone totally wrong?

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  1. j
    December 17, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Its funny
    Cause in Europe dark skin is all the rage, with similar racism against white-skins.
    Tanning is all the rage,bringing its lot of health dangers…

  2. Amit
    July 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    High on White – its a case pf colonial hangover!

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