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Nivea Pulls Offensive Advertisement And Apologizes On Facebook

Companies like to push the envelope with their advertisements. Sometimes the gamble works, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes, like in the case of Nivea, the whole thing turns into a major social network and news fiasco.

Nivea, a company which specializes in skin-care products, recently released a print ad that it has since pulled.

The ad, which generate almost immediate outrage showed an African American man preparing to toss a decapitated head (his own?) with an afro-style haircut. The ad copy reads: "Re-Civilize Yourself." The underlying message was designed to say be that afros are not civilized hairstyles.

The media reported that Facebook users began posting photos of themselves with Afros on Nivea’s wall, saying things such as: 'I wear my hair natural and I just graduated with my doctorate! So who needs to be re-civilized?? Nivea no longer welcomed in my household.'

Nivea has since taken down the ad and issued an apology via Facebook.

Nivea's apology said "Thank you for caring enough to give us your feedback about the recent 'Re-civilized' Nivea for Men ad. This ad was inappropriate and offensive. It was never our intention to offend anyone, and for this we are deeply sorry. This ad will never be used again. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of our company."

While the offensive ad has been pulled, the massive interest in the controversy it created continues full steam ahead. Over the past 24 hours, Web searches for Nivea recivilize yourself surged 629%. Nivea racist ad spiked 140%.

While the experts say there's no such thing as bad publicity, Nivea may have done permanent damage to their company, at least in some ethnic households.  What do you think?  Will you boycott Nivea in the future?

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