FCB drops the company after a 'We don't do gay' remark

FCB, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies has dropped Nivea Skincare after a senior Nivea employee allegedly told an FCB employees ‘We don’t do gay at Nivea’.

Screenshot via YouTube/Nivea

Nivea reportedly flinched when shown an ad that featured two men touching hands.

The agency announced in an internal memo that it would be dropping Nivea as its client after a 100-year relationship together.

According to AdAge, tensions between the two businesses had been rising for years.

The final straw came when the homophobic comment was made in a call to an openly gay member of FCB’s creative team in response to an ad he proposed.

Said FCB’s CEO Carter Murray:

There comes a point in every long-term relationship when you reflect on what you’ve accomplished together and set your sails for where your journey will take you next. Sometimes that journey ahead demands tough choices that lead down different paths.

He added that the decision followed “much reflection and discussion on our creative ambitions.”

Nivea called the claims “unsubstantiated speculations”.

The company spends on average $300 million on measured media advertising a year – but this total represents only ons percent of the agency’s global revenue.

A spokesperson for Beiersdorf, which owns Nivea, wouldn’t comment on “unsubstantiated speculations” which occurred during Pride month.

The spokesperson went on to state that the allegations do not reflect the values of Beiersdorf, Nivea and their employees worldwide.

AdAge reported that FCB Inferno in London has done a significant amount of work for Nivea.

Screenshot via YouTube/Nivea

Most recently in April, the agency released a “Mr. Sun” campaign for Nivea Sun and Cancer Research UK to encourage people to wear sunscreen.

The allegation regarding the gay remark came during Pride Month, a time when more brands than ever are promoting and donating to LGBT+ causes and events in celebration. Retailers including J.Crew, Kenneth Cole, Under Armour, Gap, Calvin Klein, American Eagle, Nordstrom, Express and DKNY all released their own Pride collections.

Disneyland held its first Pride parade at Disneyland Paris, which pissed off many Christians. Verizon is celebrating Pride with a digital campaign featuring real stories of people coming out to their relatives to show how difficult those conversations were.