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Explained: re-branding of fairness products

Jul 04, 2020 11:53 IST

In a step driven by Black Lives Matter movement in USA, Hindustan Unilever announced that it will drop the word 'fair' from its iconic brand 'Fair & lovely in an attempt to re-brand its flagship skin lightening product. HUL has said that the words 'fair, white and light' suggest a singular ideal of beauty that the company is longer comfortable with. Why is this happening today in India, that has been asking for this change for years? Anuradha Sengupta says the timing of this change suggests that BLM has engulfed USA and UK and racial relations, which has also caused a reflection among corporates on their messaging and brand positioning, It is a brand decision on as a response to a fierce ground level movement on how skin colour dictates lives. Brands are truly uncomfortable now as a result of strident and constant criticism by activists. Harish Bijoor, Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc., says HUL should have taken this decision about 20 years ago. Brands keep pushing decisions till push comes to shove and the BLM movement was the shove it needed.