A new movement to boycott German personal care brand NIVEA is sweeping the globe following allegations of homophobia from the body-care giant.
The proposed boycott follows a move by advertising agency FCB who advised their staff that they would not be renewing their contract with NIVEA after one of the company’s staff members allegedly asserted that “we don’t do gay,” when briefed on a same-sex campaign.
According to Ad Age FCB’s decision was made when a campaign that featured two men’s hands touching was rejected, with a NIVEA employee saying that “We don’t do gay at Nivea.”
The companies decision which was explained to employees via an internal memo from FCB Global CEO Carter Murray, stated, “There comes a point in every longterm relationship when you reflect on what you’ve accomplished together and set your sails for where your journey will take you next. Sometimes that journey ahead demands tough choices that lead down different paths.”
Speaking with Campaign a spokesperson from the Hamburg-based company stated that NIVEA would not “comment on unsubstantiated speculations around this matter.”
However, added “We wish to express our concern on the reported allegations as they do not reflect the values of Beiersdorf, Nivea and our employees worldwide. No form of discrimination, direct and indirect, is or will be tolerated. We are strongly committed to diversity, mutual respect, equal opportunity and tolerance – this stance and belief is shared and lived throughout Beiersdorf.”
NIVEA’s response, however, has failed to stall online anger over the allegation, with many in the LGBTI community calling for a boycott of the entire NIVEA brand.
American actor and activist George Takei tweeted, “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.”