Nestlé to rename Australian lollies ‘out of step’ with values

Nestlé announced on Tuesday that it will rename two of its Australian lollies that it says are “out of step” with the company’s values.

Allen’s Red Skins and Chicos will be “quickly” renamed, Nestlé said, although the new names have not yet been finalised.

“This decision acknowledges the need to ensure that nothing we do marginalises our friends, neighbours and colleagues,” Nestlé said in a statement.

“These names have overtones which are out of step with Nestle’s values, which are rooted in respect.”

The FMCG giant is the latest in a list of major brands who have taken action to address racial discrimination and stereotypes in the marketing of their products.

Last week, Colgate-Palmolive said it would undertake a review to evolve its Chinese toothpaste brand, Darlie, which is owned by Colgate and its joint venture partner, Hawley & Hazel.

The product used to be called Darkie and featured a man in blackface.

Darlie toothpaste

Today, its package features a smiling man in a top hat, but its current Chinese name ( 黑人牙膏 ) still translates to “black person toothpaste.”

“For more than 35 years, we have been working together to evolve the brand, including substantial changes to the name, logo and packaging. We are currently working with our partner to review and further evolve all aspects of the brand, including the brand name,” a Colgate spokesman told Reuters in an email.

Some major skincare brands, including Unilever’s Fair & Lovely, have also come under scrutiny for suggesting in their marketing that lighter skin is aesthetically superior to dark, according to critics.

Johnson & Johnson said it will stop selling its Clean & Clear Fairness line of skin-whitening creams in Asia and the Middle East. 

“Conversations over the past few weeks highlighted that some product names or claims on our dark spot reducer products represent fairness or white as better than your own unique skin tone,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.

Earlier this month, when global protests against racial inequality began to gain momentum, J&J’s Band-Aid brand announced that it would add a range of bandages in light, medium and deep shades of Brown and Black skin tones to “embrace the beauty of diverse skin”.

In an Instagram post, Band-Aid said, “We hear you. We see you. We’re listening to you. We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, collaborators and community in the fight against racism, violence and injustice. We are committed to taking actions to create tangible change for the Black Community. We are committed to launching a range of bandages in light, medium and deep shades of Brown and Black skin tones that embrace the beauty of diverse skin. We are dedicated to inclusivity and providing the best healing solutions, better representing you.”

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We hear you. We see you. We’re listening to you.⁣ ⁣ We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, collaborators and community in the fight against racism, violence and injustice. We are committed to taking actions to create tangible change for the Black community.⁣ ⁣ We are committed to launching a range of bandages in light, medium and deep shades of Brown and Black skin tones that embrace the beauty of diverse skin. We are dedicated to inclusivity and providing the best healing solutions, better representing you.⁣ ⁣ In addition, we will be making a donation to @blklivesmatter.⁣ We promise that this is just the first among many steps together in the fight against systemic racism.⁣ ⁣ We can, we must and we will do better.

A post shared by BAND-AID® Brand Bandages (@bandaidbrand) on

Some Instagram users praised the move, but many others felt it was too little too late, with one user @frangipanimagazine commenting, “Performative activism much….” [sic].

Another user known as @bebeology_ said, “To all my black people I urge you to NOT buy bandages from this company b/c I can’t believe in 2020 they have JUST realized that we don’t have the same skin tone ???” [sic].

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