Fair & Lovely to Drop ‘Fair’ from Brand Name, says Hindustan Unilever

Fair & Lovely

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) will stop using the word `Fair` in the flagship brand `Fair & Lovely` with a “more inclusive vision of beauty”. The brand is committed to celebrating all skin tones, HUL said and announced the rebranding of its flagship brand Fair & Lovely. Taking forward the brand`s journey towards a more inclusive vision of beauty, the company will stop using the word `Fair` in the brand name `Fair & Lovely`. The new name is awaiting regulatory approvals and HUL expects to change the name in the next few months. The brand is committed to celebrating all skin tones.

The Fair and Lovely brand has been criticized by some sections for promoting fairness as a symbol of beauty in an Indian milieu where diversity of skin tones is prevalent. In a statement, it said over the last decade, Fair & Lovely`s advertising has evolved to communicate a message of women`s empowerment. The brand`s vision is to adopt a holistic approach to beauty that cares for people, that must be inclusive and diverse – for everyone, everywhere.


“We are making our skincare portfolio more inclusive … a more diverse portrayal of beauty,” Hindustan Unilever Chairman Sanjiv Mehta said in a statement. The company also sells the popular Dove and Knorr range of products. Sources had told Reuters earlier that the company was considering such changes.

Products marketed as skin lightening have a huge market in South Asia due to a societal obsession with fairer skin tones, but those notions are being questioned more frequently. “We recognize that the use of the words ‘fair’, ‘white’ and ‘light’ suggest a singular ideal of beauty that we don’t think is right, and we want to address this,” Sunny Jain, Unilever’s president of its beauty and personal care division, said in a separate statement.

Unilever’s ‘Fair & Lovely’ brand dominates the market in South Asia. Similar products are also sold by L’Oréal and Procter & Gamble. The ‘Fair & Lovely’ brand name change is subject to regulatory approvals, Hindustan Unilever said. The company did not say what the new brand name would be.

Separately, a source within L’Oréal in India said the company was also having discussions in view of the backlash. “Words such as skin brightening, whitening, lightening could soon become a thing of the past on all labels and product sales pitches,” the source said. L’Oréal India declined to comment. An email to L’Oréal in France did not elicit an immediate response. Johnson & Johnson said this month it would stop selling skin-whitening creams.

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