A Unilever brand in Thailand ran into some problems with one of its promotion campaigns, the Citra


A Unilever brand in Thailand ran into some problems with one of its promotion campaigns, the “Citra 3D Brightening Girls Search.” Citra Pearly White UV Body Lotion is marketed as a skin-whitening product. Skin whitening is popular in many Asian countries because lighter skin color is associated with higher economic status. However, this belief is not created by marketers. Anthropologists point out that Asian cultures, and Thailand in particular, have long histories of associating darker skin tones with outdoor peasants and field workers and lighter skin tones with higher socioeconomic status. Citra’s advertising was criticized because it showed two female students—one lighter-skinned than the other—and asked them what would make them “outstanding in uniform.” The darker girl seemed confused and didn’t answer, while the lighter girl answered with Citra’s product slogan. After considerable social media outcry, Citra pulled the ad, but it did not stop a related scholarship competition. The competition offered a 100,000 baht

($3,200) prize for the college student best demonstrating “product efficacy”—that is, the whitest skin. The company claims its products help people feel good about themselves and enhance their self-esteem.

1.Since lighter skin and skin whitening are popular in Thailand, is it wrong for marketers to offer and promote products that encourage this belief and behavior?

Explain why or why not.

2.Find other examples of marketers creating controversy by promoting culture-based products that could be viewed as inappropriate by others outside that culture.

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Related Book For  book-img-for-question

Marketing An Introduction

ISBN: 9781292294865

14th Global Edition

Authors: Gary Armstrong, Philip Kotler, Marc Oliver Opresnik

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