David Blecken
Jan 24, 2019

Nissin pulls Naomi Osaka campaign after ‘whitening’ outcry

Company denies deliberate action, and vows to be more attuned to diversity issues.

Naomi Osaka at the Australian open versus the now-pulled Nissin video. (Upper left image: David Gray / AFP)

Instant-noodle purveyor Nissin has apologised and pulled a campaign that drew criticism for portraying Haitian-Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, whom the brand sponsors, with light skin and Caucasian features.

The cartoon image of Osaka featured in a campaign for its Cup Noodle ramen brand. Social media pundits suggested that Nissin had tried to make Osaka more appealing to a homogenous Japanese audience.

Nissin is reported to have denied that the characterisation, which...

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