New Delhi: India’s largest packaged consumer goods firm Hindustan Unilever Ltd on Thursday said it will drop the word ‘fair’ from its popular brand Fair & Lovely in its attempt to rebrand the skin care range. This comes days after Johnson & Johnson announced plans to discontinue the sale of its skin-whitening creams.
“We now announce that we will remove the word ‘Fair’ from our brand name Fair & Lovely. The new name is awaiting regulatory approvals, and the pack with the revised name will be available in the market in the next few months," the company said in a statement on Thursday.
HUL’s move comes as brands globally respond to debates around race and color that have gripped the world.
Over the years, conversations around making beauty more “inclusive" have also prompted skin care and fashion brands to expand their offerings to suit more skin and body types.
“The brand is committed to celebrating all skin tones," HUL said in its press statement while announcing what can be seen as a significant change to the brand that was introduced in India in 1975.
“We are making our skin care portfolio more inclusive and want to lead the celebration of a more diverse portrayal of beauty. In 2019, we removed the cameo with two faces as well as the shade guides from the packaging of Fair & Lovely and the brand communication progressed from fairness to glow which is a more holistic and inclusive measure of healthy skin. These changes were very well received by our consumers," Sanjiv Mehta, chairman and managing director, HUL said.
The company said over the years, its marketing for the brand—that enjoys leadership in the skin whitening products market—has shifted to focus on “glow", “even tone", “skin clarity" in what the company says are its effort to change the way it communicates its benefits to users beyond fairness.
“... HUL also removed from Fair & Lovely’s packaging, words such as ‘fair/fairness’, ‘white/whitening’, and ‘light/lightening’ that could indicate a fairness-led transformation. The cameo with two faces showing shade transformation, as well as the shade guides were removed from the packs," it said in its statement.
HUL will continue to evolve its advertising for the brand to feature women of different skin tones, representative of the variety of beauty across India, it added.
Over the years Fair & Lovely has branched into a range of skin care products to include advanced multi-vitamin creams, ayurvedic care cream, BB Cream, sun protect, and anti-marks variant.
Last year, HUL took the popular brand franchise to extend it to soaps where it already dominates the market with brands such as Lifebuoy and Lux.
The company’s announcement comes after Johnson & Johnson said it will stop selling its Clean & Clear Fairness line of products as well as its Neutrogena Fine Fairness line, sold in India and other markets.