Ad Nut
Jan 8, 2016

Thailand whitening ad raises ire, then disappears

From Thailand: Ad for Seoul Secret's Snowz product line

Thailand whitening ad raises ire, then disappears


Update: The brand has issued a "heartfelt apology".

The ad above, which informs viewers that "Whiteness helps you win" has understandably caused a stir on social media in Thailand today, according to this excellent article on Khaosod English—which details the voiceover copy and names some companies the publication says are responsible for producing it.

(The brand, Seoul Secret, has now made the video private. Ad Nut has included a version someone grabbed before it disappeared, and just in case, here's another version.) 

Ad Nut and friends here have seen too many ads in this vein, and they make us sad. While it's not correct to interpret such Asia-made commercials through the lens of US racial relations, the clear and damaging message to women and young girls with darker complexions is offensive enough even without that baggage.

The Khaosod article, which you should read, quotes a press release circulated by the brand as saying the ad is based on "a real-life insight that every woman has experienced: people who have white skin tend to be so attractive that they ‘steal the scene’ from other people". 

That kind of talk makes Ad Nut feel sick; imagine how a young woman with any shade of skin other than unnaturally-glowing-white must feel. 

Ad Nut firmly believes that all its fellow squirrels—red, grey, black, black/orange/white/red, flying—are beautiful in their own right. If only humans, especially those running cosmetics brands, could follow Ad Nut's lead and get over their harmful whiteness obsession.


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