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Unilever, maker of various toiletries, to stop using word 'normal' in ads and packaging

Company also won't alter person’s body shape or skin color
Posted at 12:50 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 12:58:14-05

LONDON — Unilever says it will eliminate the word “normal” from all of the packaging and advertising for its beauty and personal care brands.

Additionally, the large consumer good company says it won’t digitally alter a person’s body shape, size, proportion or skin color in its advertising, and it will increase the number of ads portraying people from diverse groups who are under-represented.

The London-based company announced the changes Tuesday, saying they’re part of its new “Positive Beauty” vision and strategy, which will “champion a new era of beauty which is equitable and inclusive,” as well as sustainable.

As part of the strategy, Unilever says it’s setting out several progressive commitments and actions for its brands, including Dove, Lifebuoy, Axe and Sunsilk.

The company says the decision to remove “normal” is one of many steps it’s taking to challenge narrow beauty ideals and work towards ending discrimination and advocating for a more inclusive vision of beauty.

Unilever says it commissioned a 10,000-person study across nine countries that found more than half of people think the beauty and personal care industry can make people feel excluded.

The study also found a majority of people want to see the industry focusing more on making people feel better rather than just look better, and it found seven in 10 people agree that using the word “normal” has a negative impact.

“We know that removing ‘normal’ from our products and packaging will not fix the problem alone, but it is an important step forward. It’s just one of a number of actions we are taking as part of our Positive Beauty vision, which aims not only to do less harm, but more good for both people and the planet,” said Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care.

Unilever says it has made three commitments to create real and measurable impacts:

1. They’ve committed to take action to improve health and wellbeing through their brands, and advance equity and inclusion, reaching 1 billion people per year by 2030.
2. They’ve committed to help protect and regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forests and oceans by 2030
3. They’ve committed to supporting a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics by 2030, working with lawmakers, animal protection organizations and like-minded companies