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Unilever to remove the word ‘normal’ from all its packaging and advertising

The move comes as a part of the brand’s positive beauty and vision strategy that aims at being inclusive, equitable and sustainable

As a part of its positive beauty and vision strategy, multinational consumer goods company Unilever has announced that it will remove the word ‘normal’ from advertising and packaging, for all its products across the world. 

“It’s one of several commitments we’re making today as part of our new ‘positive beauty’ vision and strategy – championing a new era of beauty that’s inclusive, equitable and sustainable. Using our world-class innovation and technology, positive beauty will also shape how our products are designed and formulated, ensuring they do more good for both people and the planet,” the company said.

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“With one billion people using our beauty and personal care products every day, and even more seeing our advertising, our brands have the power to make a real difference to people’s lives. As part of this, we are committed to tackling harmful norms and stereotypes and shaping a broader, far more inclusive definition of beauty,” said Sunny Jain, President of Unilever Beauty & Personal Care.

Jain said that in addition to removing ‘normal’ from ads and packs, the beauty and personal care brands are committing to end all digital alterations that change a person’s body shape, size, proportions or skin colour, and to increase the number of ads portraying people from diverse, under-represented groups.

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Unilever conducted a 10,000-person study across nine countries, including India, which concluded that more than half of people (56%) think that the beauty and personal care industry can make people feel excluded. People want to see the industry focusing more on making people feel better than just looking better (74%).

More than half of people (52%) say they now pay more attention to a company’s stance on societal issues before buying products. Seven in 10 people agree that using the word ‘normal’ on product packaging and advertising has a negative impact. For younger people – those aged 18-35 – this rises to eight in 10.

Apart from this, the FMCG giant has announced several other announcements to create a real and measurable impact that include helping to end discrimination in beauty and champion inclusion, by challenging narrow beauty ideals and building a more inclusive portfolio of products.

These measures include driving gender equity, including stepping up brand programmes, advocacy to challenge the status quo and unstereotyping advertising. Improving health and well-being through existing educational initiatives in handwashing and oral hygiene and expanding focus into new areas, including physical health and mental wellbeing are other measures.

These measures include helping to protect and regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forests and oceans by 2030, which is more land than is required to grow the renewable ingredients in Unilever’s beauty and personal care products. Supporting a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics by 2023, working alongside lawmakers, animal protection organisations and like-minded companies. The company said 23 Unilever beauty and personal care brands are now PETA-approved, with more working towards certification.

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