Advertising agency FCB (Foote, Cone and Belding) is reportedly discontinuing it contract with Nivea after an alleged anti-gay comment.
According to Ad Age, Nivea allegedly rejected a pitch from the advertising agency featuring two men touching hands.
A person on the personal care’s client team reportedly remarked ‘we don’t do gay at Nivea’ during a call with FCB.
FCB then sent an internal memo to all staff announcing it’ll resign its global Nivea account when the contracts expire later this year.
‘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,’ Global CEO Carter Murray wrote in the memo. ‘Sometimes that journey ahead demands tough choices that lead down different paths.’
He then added: ‘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.
The memo does not address the alleged anti-gay comment.
It is unclear when the alleged anti-gay comment occurred, but the internal memo came out in April.
Nivea then issued a statement responding to the allegations of homophobia and addressing the discontinuation of the contract with FCB.
A spokesperson for Beiersdorf AG (the owner of Nivea) told Campaign US: ‘We wish to express our concern on the reported allegations as they do not reflect the values of Beiersdorf, Nivea and our employees worldwide.
‘No form of discrimination, direct and indirect, is or will be tolerated.
‘We are strongly committed to diversity, mutual respect, equal opportunity and tolerance – this stance and belief is shared and lived throughout Beiersdorf.
‘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,’ the spokesperson said.
Nivea represents 1% of the FCB’s global revenue, according to the leaked memo.