Nivea has come under fire for a new face cream that promises Black women that they can have “visibly lighter skin.”

The cream, called Natural Fairness, has been marketed to women in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal. Miss Nigeria Omowunmi Akinnifesi is featured on billboards using the product, and a television ad shows a Black model’s skin turning a lighter shade after applying the product.

The campaign and the cream have caused outrage since their debuts, prompting a #TakeItDown campaign on social media.

London entrepreneur William Adoasi shared a clip of the ad online, writing, “This is why black businesses need to rise up and cater for our needs. Nivea can’t get away with pushing this skin lightening agenda across Africa. Appalling.”


Fuse ODG, a British hip-hop artist who comes from Ghanian heritage, also expressed outrage over the Nivea ad, saying, “Kindly take down these billboards you have placed all over our beloved countries in Africa.”

“I saw this one with my own eyes today in Ghana and we love our complexion the way it is. And if you don’t take these down. We will,” he added. “Every African everywhere should stop buying any Nivea product. Tag the Nivea branch from your country so they understand how foolish this is!”