Because apparently it wasn’t obvious enough that you should never use “white” and “purity” that close to each other in the same sentence, the German skincare brand Nivea was forced to pull an ad campaign that proclaimed: “WHITE IS PURITY.”
The ad, which was aimed at Middle Eastern consumers and posted on the brand’s Facebook page, featured a white woman draped in white and was posted with the caption, “Keep it clean, keep bright. Don’t let anything ruin it, #Invisible.”
The brand deleted the post after people started pointing out that its catchphrase is basically a perfect recreation of a racist, segregationist mantra. And to further prove critics right, members of the loose coalition of trolls, anti-Semites, and actual Nazis known as the alt-right started flooding the brand’s page with Pepe the Frog memes and declaring the ad a victory.
As these things tend to go, Nivea sorta-apologized, acknowledging to the BBC that the post was “misleading.”
“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 After realizing that the post is misleading, it was immediately withdrawn,” a spokesperson for Nivea’s parent company said.