Several major brands are undertaking reviews of logos and marketing messages in the light of the now-global Black Lives Matter protests and the broader debate over racial equality.

Colgate-Palmolive is the latest brand to announce change, saying it will review the name of its toothpaste Darlie – labelled “Darkie” up until 1989 – which in Chinese means “Black People Toothpaste”.

Black Lives Matter

This article is part of an ongoing WARC series focused on educating brand marketers on diversity and activism, in light of the recent progressive steps made with the Black Lives Matter movement.

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The brand, founded in Shanghai in 1933 by Hawley & Hazel, is now jointly owned with Colgate and is one of the best-selling toothpastes across Asia, with a reported 17% share of the market in China, 21% in Singapore, 28% in Malaysia and 25% in Taiwan, according to data firm Euromonitor.

“For more than 35 years, we have been working together to evolve the brand, including substantial changes to the name, logo and packaging. We are currently working with our partner to review and further evolve all aspects of the brand, including the brand name,” a Colgate spokesman told the BBC.

Colgate is not alone. Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, says it will change the branding and name of its Aunt Jemima pancake and waffle mix product, and Mars says it is considering the branding of its Uncle Ben’s rice. Business Insider reports Conagra Foods, owners of Mrs Butterworth’s syrups and pancake mixes, along with Cream of Wheat, owners B&G Foods, is also reviewing its products’ branding.

US agricultural cooperative Land O’Lakes has also said it will change its packaging and remove the depiction of a Native-American woman from its brand by early next year.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson has announced it is to stop selling its skin-whitening Clean & Clear Fairness line of products, which are marketed in India, Reuters reports. Earlier this month the business also indicated it will stop its Neutrogena Fine Fairness line, which is sold in Asia and the Middle East.

“Conversations over the past few weeks highlighted that some product names or claims on our dark spot reducer products represent fairness or white as better than your own unique skin tone,” the company said in a statement. “This was never our intention – healthy skin is beautiful skin.”

The news comes as the global skin-lightening products market, which was worth some $4,075 million in 2017, is set to grow to be worth $8,011.17 million by 2026, according to Stratistics MRC.

Asia-Pacific will see the biggest growth, the market research company says, due to “the increasing grooming awareness among individuals coupled with the increase in the number of multi-brand specialty stores in the region and improving lifestyles of the consumers along with the increasing per capita disposable income of the consumers.”

Sourced from BBC, Business Insider, Reuters, Stratistics MRC