BrandArena: Why FCB resigned as Nivea's ad agency

Monday 1 July 2019

Why FCB resigned as Nivea's ad agency

One of the largest global advertising agency networks, FCB has ended its long‑standing relationship with world’s biggest beauty brands, Nivea over an allegedly homophobic remark by a top executive of the company. The said comment: “We don’t do gay at Nivea” during a conference call with staff from FCB, led to the decision.

It is said to have come in response to a proposal from the agency’s creative team to produce a skincare advert featuring two men touching hands. The idea was rejected by Nivea and the campaign did not run.

One of the FCB employees on the conference phone call is gay, according to Ad Age, the marketing trade magazine that first reported the story.

FCB announced to its employees in an internal memo obtained by Ad Age that it will resign its global Nivea account when contracts expire at the end of the year. The memo did not address the alleged remark. Had it not resigned, FCB would have been put into the position of defending the account. Nivea will soon be announcing a "holding company creative review," according to FCB's memo, which came from FCB Global CEO Carter Murray. 

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