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Indians obsession with fairness is factually centuries old. Say it a socially created phenomenon or infliction of deep dark superiority complex in the minds of generations. Going through the pages of history clearly indicates that India has always been under the radar of the white skinned. The invaders, the rulers, the Portuguese, European or the Dutch were relatively of a fairer skin tone. Being ruled over by these, instituted a stringent thought-process in the minds of Indians that fairness is a depiction of power, status and beauty. Centuries have passed but sadly colour-based bigotry still exists. The desire for fair skin among the end-users invited various corporations to manufacture and sell skin-brightening lotions and similar products.
As reported few days ago, owing to the outbreak of ‘Black Lives Movement’ many businesses were criticized for marketing and promoting fairness creams. Amidst all this, multinational companies including Hindustan Unilever Limited decided to amend the name of its popular “Fair & Lovely” cream to “Glow & Lovely”. Additionally, the 87-year old Mumbai-headquartered Corporation launched a variant of its renowned skin-brightening cream targeting the male consumer force, under the name “Glow & Handsome”.
Seems like a commonly heard brand right? Well, Emami Limited claims to be the original adopter and proprietor of the same. Back in 2005, the Kolkata-based conglomerate gave a hard brawl to HUL when it rolled out fairness lotions for male counterparts and named it “Fair and Handsome” HUL reverted back by launching a men variant for its Fair & Lovely brand, a year later after Emami’s move.
All this appears to be a “brand combat” with drama and thrill effects to it. Rebranding by HUL provoked Emami to raise a voice against the same and not only that; the 46-year old FMCG brand Emami is threatening the ages old rival with a potential legal action.
On Thursday, an aggrieved Emami spokesperson said, “We are shocked to learn of HUL’s decision to rename its men’s range of Fair & Lovely as Glow & Handsome. Emami, the maker of Fair and Handsome brand of men’s grooming products, is the market leader in the men’s fairness cream with legal ownership of the trademarks. We will now be consulting legal experts” Further adding, “Although shocked we are not surprised to note HUL’s unfair business practice, which has been prevalent time and again to damage our brand image.”
“We don’t wish to make any comment on the statement made by them. We are fully conscious of our rights and our position. We will protect it fully in all appropriate forms,” stated an HUL spokesperson post Emami’s claims. “Over the next few months, Glow & Lovely will be on the shelves and future innovations will deliver on this new preposition.”