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Skincare company Nivea allegedly refused LGBT ad pitch: "we don't do gay"

Skincare company Nivea allegedly refused LGBT ad pitch: "we don't do gay."
Photo credit:
Wikimedia Commons

FCB, one of the world's largest advertising agencies claims that their client, Nivea, has dropped them because of a pitch wherein two men are touching hands.

A gay team member in FCB's creative department claims a rep from the skincare company said in a phone call, "we don't do gay at Nivea," according to Ad Age.

A private inter-office memo from FCB was leaked to the press which states they are cutting ties with the company at year's end. 

It reads: “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.”

 FCB also handles brands Eucerin, La Prairie and Hansaplast which will remain under contract. 

"Much reflection and discussion on our creative ambitions,:" added FCB CEO Carter Murray in the memo. "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."

 Germany-based company Beiersdorf owns Nivea and when asked by Campaign US about the accusation, they said they wouldn't comment on "unsubstantiated speculations," but added:

"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," they said, "the right time for a new beginning in Nivea's brand management and creative work."

In an official statement Beiersdorf was more specific:

"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. No form of discrimination, direct and indirect, is tolerated."

There has been an upswing of LGBT representation being included in mainstream brands and products over the past few years.

This year Gillette, one of the world's leading makers of shaving products included a trans man in one of their ads. 

It is estimated that LGBT purchasing power is just shy of $1 trillion yearly