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Vaseline's Skin Whitening Facebook App Gets Criticized

Jayesh Shinde 18 Jul 2010
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Vaseline broke new grounds last month by launching a marketing campaign for its skin-whitening product for men by means of a Facebook application. The app, targetted primarily at an Indian audience, has come under international criticism for being "racist".

On a Facebook page titled 'Vaseline Men BE PREPARED' -- which already enjoys over 900 fans -- the controversial Vaseline Facebook app claims to whiten users' profile image. At the time of writing this piece, 68 people have polled the app a rating of 1.6 out of 5 stars. Facebook users have criticized Vaseline and its parent company Unilever for a stunt which one Facebook user claims is "racist and a bit offensive".

Despite India's lucrative cosmetics and beauty products market, Vaseline's Facebook skin-whitening app has come under global fire. An article in The Atlantic claims the south Asia targeted campaign can probably make Western audiences "uncomfortable". One Wall Street Journal reporter tested the Vaseline skin-whitening Facebook app for its functionality and remained unconvinced of its result. In a CBS news article, a spokesman for Unilever has defended the marketing campaign on Facebook.

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