Ever witness an ugly break up? Perhaps none come more spectacularly than Nivea being dumped by their own advertising agency amidst allegations the brand refused to feature a homosexual couple in a recent media campaign.
The popular skin-care brand, owned by German-based company Beiersdorf, reportedly had a long-running relationship with advertisers FCB Network, dating back more than 100-years. The advertising agency, however, has refused to renew their contract with Nivea after an employee allegedly said, they “don’t do gay” in response to an advert proposal featuring a homosexual couple.
According to Ad Age: “The allegations [are] that the brand rejected an image that the agency pitched showing two men’s hands touching, according to people familiar with the matter. A person on the client team allegedly remarked, ‘we don’t do gay at Nivea’ on a call with FCB creatives, one of which is gay, the people said.”
FCB refused to officially comment on the matter, however, Ad Age obtained a copy of an internal email sent to employees of FCB. While the email does not state specific reasons for terminating their long-time contract with the skincare brand, it does state: “Sometimes that journey ahead demands tough choices that lead down different paths.”
Nivea is yet to officially respond to the allegations, but sent a number of tweets in response to voiced protest: “In light of reported unsubstantiated allegations, we’d like to take this opportunity to reinforce and emphasize our long-standing commitment to diversity, mutual respect and equal opportunity – with a continued, zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”
“With more than 20,000 employees in over 100 countries, and in light of a reported unsubstantiated allegation we’d like to take the opportunity to assure you of our continued commitment in promoting open and inclusive culture across our entire organisation,” the brand added.
Despite distancing themselves from the allegations, numerous customers have taken to social media calling for a boycott of Nivea products, while others are backing the skin-care brand for not acquiescing to LGBTQ demands in marketing.
Nivea was shown an ad proposal from their agency that had two men touching hands. Their response? “We don’t do gay at Nivea.” Well, sorry, but from here forward, we gays and our friends don’t do Nivea. @NIVEAUSA
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 2, 2019
— Venus Vontrapp (@VenusVontrapp) July 4, 2019
Nivea doesn't do gay? I don't do Nivea. Are you with me? pic.twitter.com/BIR1ozpgQ6
— Jane Palen (@jbriggspalen) June 27, 2019
— @womanofappetite (@womanofappetite) July 4, 2019
After a 100-year long relationship Nivea Crème dropped by ad agency FCB due to homophobic comment “We don’t do #gay at #Nivea” over marketing call @NIVEA_Germany your "strong commitment to diversity" better become actually visible, or I will stop. Ich bin auch deutsch und #schwul pic.twitter.com/sQM0jrjqxR
— Mirosława Štern® RMX (@Generacija78) July 4, 2019