One of the biggest and most popular advertising agencies in the world, FCB, has apparently cut ties with Nivea after one of the brand’s senior employees in US allegedly said “We don’t do gay at Nivea”. This comment was made during a con-call meeting with the advertising agency. FCB proposed a skinner ad featuring two men touching hands, and that is what evoked this comment.
Various sources on the internet claim that tensions were anyway brewing between the two companies, and this was perhaps the final straw. FCB will not renew their contract with Nivea. This meeting was also attended by an FCB creative employee who is gay.
FCB Global CEO Carter Murray did not mention the anti-gay comments in his statement, but mentioned how “tough choices” needed to be made.
“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. It is my hope that in reflecting on the incredible journey we’ve had with Nivea around the world and in your markets, you take pride in what we accomplished together and come to respect the many difficult factors we had to carefully weigh to take this step.”
A spokesperson from Nivea said – “We understand that emotions and news interest are intensified when a longtime business relationship comes to an end — however, we ask for understanding that we don’t comment on unsubstantiated speculations around this matter.”
“Nonetheless 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.”
“We are an international company with more than 20,000 employees with very different genders, ethnicities, orientations, backgrounds and personalities worldwide. Through our products, we touch millions of consumers around the globe every day. We know and cherish that individuality and diversity in all regards brings inspiration and creativity to our society and to us as a company.”
Twitter also had its own reaction to the story, with many users claiming to boycott the brand.
Nivea doesn't do gay? I don't do Nivea. Are you with me? pic.twitter.com/BIR1ozpgQ6
— Jane Palen (@jbriggspalen) June 27, 2019
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
A skincare company that doesn't "do gay". Whaaaat?!! Might wanna rethink that strategy if you wanna reach the men who probably spend the most on skincare #truth #pride #nivea #hmmm https://t.co/bPuVsOYRkM
— for example (@EGF4) June 26, 2019
— Venus Vontrapp (@VenusVontrapp) July 4, 2019
Ah, so you “don’t do gay at Nivea”? Well, my husband and I will no longer “do” the bigoted Nivea brand at our house. I’ll be sure to let all our friends and family know, too. 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈
— S A MacDonald (@S_A_MacDonald) July 2, 2019
— Wayne Tunks (@waynetunks) July 4, 2019