Consumer giant Unilever says it will rebrand its bestselling skin lightening cream Fair and Lovely and drop the word "fair" from its name. While the news has been welcomed, campaigners say the move doesn't go far enough - and in India demand for such products shows no sign of waning.
Unilever and its Indian subsidiary Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) have been criticised extensively for promoting colourism and making girls with darker shades feel insecure.
Pressure had been mounting since US multinational Johnson and Johnson announced it would no longer produce or sell two of its creams which are popular in Asia and the Middle East in response to the death of George Floyd and the worldwide debate about racism it sparked.
Ever since the 1970s when it first hit the market, millions of tubes are bought every year by teenagers and young women in a country where lighter skin is routinely equated with beauty. Top Bollywood actors and actresses have appeared in advertisements to endorse Fair and Lovely that promote fair skin as a means to finding love or a glamorous job.
So, the important question is - is a name change enough to change perceptions about skin colour that have been held and perpetuated over centuries ? It's worth pointing out that this move by Unilever is simply old wine in a new bottle as the company is still going to sell the same cream with the same ingredients, but with a new name.
And I know that in many parts of India too, the unavailability of Fair and Lovely is going to be greeted with distress - a large number of customers are in small town and rural India and unaware of the politics over skin colour and the Black Lives Matter movement that's raging in the West. So, they would still embrace Fair and Lovely's substitute whatever it's called.