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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Nivea website excludes Israel, includes "Palestine Territories" (updated x3)

(see bottom for updates)
Here is a list of countries in the Middle East according to cosmetics manufacturer Nivea:


MIDDLE EAST

  1. Bahrain ( البحرين)
  2. Egypt (مصر)
  3. Iran (إيران)
  4. Iraq (العراق)
  5. Jordan (الأردن)
  6. Kuwait (الكويت)
  7. Lebanon (لبنان)
  8. Libya (ليبيا)
  9. Middle East - English (Middle East)
  10. العربية ‎- الشرق الأوسط (Middle East)
  11. Oman (سلطنة عمان)
  12. Palestine Territories (فلسطين)
  13. Qatar (قطر)
  14. Saudi Arabia (المملكة العربية السعودية)
  15. Syria (سوريا‎)
  16. United A. Emirates (الإمارات العربية المتحدة)
  17. Yemen (اليمن)
A screenshot:

Isn't that interesting?

An outraged former customer wrote to them:

Hi there,

My name is Rebecca Griffin, I am an Israeli-American that used to use your products-but never again. I believe in "Never say Never", but in this case it is fair to say that I will never buy your products, and I will make sure that others don't either.

"Why?" I hear you ask? Well, the answer is quite simple. I don't support racism and I don't support Anti-Israeli propaganda.

I was very surprised to find out that according to you, my country, Israel is good enough to sell your products in, but not worth being a part of the rest of the world. When asked to select my location on your website www.nivea-international.com/pages/int-country-selection I couldn't do so.

Israel, an entity recognized by the UN as a country, does not appear on your website. The Palestinian Authority however, appears, even though it is not recognized as a country. I would love to understand why you choose to eliminate us off the map of the world? Such behavior reminds me the history of your country, Germany, and the Nazi Regime. Or is it the Iranian regime that denies the holocaust and calls to wipe us off the map that you support? Is it the terror groups such as Hamas, Hizballah and IHH to name just a few that you wish to keep happy? Or is basic business- there are more 'Arab customers' than Israelis, so you would rather risk losing our business than theirs?

I simply cannot believe that I am even writing such a letter in the year 2011.

You should be ashamed of yourselves and yes, this will not go away quietly, or ignored.
You make me feel scared, and sick to my stomach.

I usually end letters with "Thank you" but I will not thank you for discriminating me, my people, or my country.

Nivea has a "Nivea Official Israel" Facebook page, but they have not yet responded there.

Their "Contact" page drop-down menu has Israel and "Palestine" listed.

It appears that Israel was listed under "Middle East" last year.

The Nivea Middle East Facebook page features a special Ramadan application.

This will probably get fixed in a day or two - but why did it happen to begin with? A corporate level decision or a single Israel-hating web designer?

But you can always go to Estee Lauder's Israel page.

UPDATE: Israel is now there, but it points to a blank nivea.co.il page.

UPDATE 2: Nivea has issued a letter explaining itself:

Today on Thursday August 4th, a discussion took place on the NIVEA-Facebook site concerning the lack of a link to an Israeli website on www.nivea-international.com. Background information: the homepage contains an overview of all currently available local NIVEA websites. The Israeli website is currently being constructed and is therefore not yet listed.

Unfortunately the lack of a link to an Israeli website was misinterpreted by some users as a possible non-recognition of Israel as a country. Beiersdorf quickly clarified that this is not the case in an own post on its NIVEA-Facebook-site. Beiersdorf pointed to the fact that the list of links on the homepage does not represent a list of the countries NIVEA is present in, but solely presents the currently available local NIVEA websites.

Beiersdorf develops new country homepages on a regular basis, which number is growing from year to year. Next to Israel there are numerous other countries and regions which do not yet have own local websites, such as Indonesia, Singapore, Tunisia, Taiwan or Luxembourg. The construction of an internet site for Israel in Hebrew and English has already started and will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2011 the latest. In the meantime a temporary website will as planned be online soon, so that Israeli consumers can already get basic information about NIVEA.
Sorry, but this does not ring true. The "Palestine Territory" page and the other Middle East country pages link to a generic Nivea Middle East website in English or Arabic. Israel could have easily linked to the same page.

Also, as I noted, there used to be a link to Israel last year.

Plus, here is a map of the Middle East according to its parent company Beiersdorf:

See anything missing?

UPDATE 3: They just put up a hasty webpage. The comments in the source show that it was created today.