Cosmetics maker apologizes over whitening ad

The controversial Glutmax billboard in Makati (Photo by Yummie Dingding/Daily Tribune)

The maker of the skin whitening brand Glutamax on Monday has issued an apology over a series of controversial advertisements that sparked an online discussion about colorism.


Glutamax then took down the ad in their Facebook page following the apology.

Glutamax’s “Your Fair Advantage” advertisement, which was published as a billboard and as social media posts, featured two females with different skin tone. Backed with a statistical research, the brand suggested that women with fairer skin gets better treatment over morena skin.

The ad drew flak from netizens who accused Glutamax of perpetuating discrimination against morena skin.

Netizen @putomayanagelou said: Apparently, Glutamax thinks that the solution to discrimation based on skin color is to whiten yourself??? WTH!!!? This forwards the disgusting narrative that the only standard for respecting people is if they’re fair-skinned. Shame on your capitalistic attempt to be relevant.

“morenx and proud here but i sense something negative in this ad. we shouldn’t hate the mestizas. let’s celebrate the beauty of diversity. lahat tayo magaganda ano ba! let’s love our own skin but let it not be the reason to hate. ❤️ 💃🏽 #unfairdiba “, said @justpaolavcb.

Celebrity-host Bianca Gonzales joined the discussion saying that, “the problem is when whitening brands make us look “kaawa awa” dahil lang maitim kami. Kasi, hindi po kami kawawa, maganda ang kulay namin.”

The brand issued an official statement earlier, stating that they believe that all skin tones are beautiful and their aim is to provide products that empower rather than discriminate.

Meanwhile, another Facebook user turned to Ad Standards Council (ASC) through social media and asked if they approved the said advertisement.

ASC, which regulates ad contents in the country said it disapproved the advertisement several times and that the release was a decision made between the ad agency and the client. The council added that it will refer to the ASC Technical Committee for the appropriate action.