Cultural Norms, Fair & Lovely, and Advertising

Cultural Norms, Fair & Lovely, and Advertising

BUS 343 International Marketing

Cultural Norms, Fair & Lovely, and Advertising

I believe that although, the company Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) researched and studied their targeted audience, they tried to keep in mind the audiences cultural values, and cultural norms for the geographical area their intending to target, but they missed the mark as to how their advertisements would be accepted by their audience. With keeping those factors in mind, HLL’s marketing department should have considered how the product advertisement would affect the demographic and geographical region. The advertisement of Fair & Lovely was demeaning to women because it was not ethical since the product cannot change one’s racial background (Eagle, Dahl, & Low, 2018). They targeted women even though they targeted the male gender in that geographical area as well with a different product. HLL targeted their audiences based on their desire of changing their skin to be a lighter skin tone, this was their perception. They based this on the cultural history of fair skin illustrating a higher status than those of darker skin color, but advertised their product without considering how their message would be accepted and or perceived.

Although there is a male market for fairness cream for men, I believe that AIDWA’s argument has not weakened. There could be a possibility that HLL was trying to use a distraction in creating a market for the fairness cream targeting men thus having their audience place its focus on the new fairness cream for me versus on the accusations of their product line whitening cream for women. AIDWA’s arguments are serious and has hurt HLL’s company.

As an advisor for Unilever, I would suggest that the company know the culture dynamics of the targeted market, by researching and understanding the elements in the global marketing mix. I would recommend advertising without stipulating how the product would make a woman beautiful. Instead to show that the product is effective in enhancing what is already there by making a statement that all are beautiful. To cast people that are using the product that have had positive effects on their skin, regardless of beauty and gender.


Aneel Karnani, “Doing Well by Doing Good—Case Study: ‘Fair & Lovely’ Whitening Cream,” Strategic Management Journal 28, no. 13 (2007), pp. 1351–57.

Eagle, L., Dahl, S., & Low, D. (2018, January 7). Ethical Issues in the Marketing of Skin Lightening Products. Retrieved from


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