Ad for skin-whitening drink accused of racism

An advertisement for the beauty drink Verena L-Gluta Berry Plus is in the doghouse today after viewers have deemed the ad’s content racially insensitive to the African community.

The ad, titled “It’s luckiest to be born human,” shows a black bear in a hospital room with a woman in white gown. The scene is meant to imitate a doctor’s examination room. The woman in the commercial tells the bear that he could become a white bear in 10.4 million weeks. She then drinks Verena, implying that humans were luckier because we have the chance to become whiter quickly simply by consuming the drink.

The part of the video that has drawn the most public ire occurs at its end, when the woman’s father appears and asks if everything is OK between her and the animal. She looks at her dad and then at a family portrait in which she has dark skin. Her father is apparently black and speaks Thai with a farang accent, hinting that the woman was actually born to an African family, then grew white with the help of Verena.

Aside from the racist issue, the ad has also prompted dialogue about excessive skin whitening amongst Thai women.

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