Friday, August 5, 2011

Nivea Omits Israel from its list of Middle East Countries-UPDATE

There Are Battles Worth Fighting; This Isn't One of Them.


Yesterday I sent an email to Nivea inquiring about their leaving Israel of the list of countries in the Middle East, but including the Palestine Territories. I just received this email in response to my inquiry.

Hello Mr. Faben,

There have been several recent inquiries as to why NIVEA does not have a local website for Israel. We are deeply sorry that this has offended people.

Beiersdorf is constantly launching local country websites and the list is growing year by year. The NIVEA international website provides only the links to our currently available local NIVEA websites. It does not include our complete list of the countries where NIVEA is sold. We currently have websites for 89 of the 150 countries where NIVEA is sold.

Our products are sold in Israel and a Hebrew/English website is already in development with plans to launch by 4th quarter 2011. It is important to us that we can serve our consumers in Israel with a local website.

We take your comments seriously and appreciate your taking the time to voice your concerns.

Cordially,

Sam
Consumer Relations
Beiersdorf Inc.


        Begrudgingly, I have to admit, that the explanation, while strange, is plausible. Although it does leave the question of why include the Palestinian Territories. However to that there is another plausible explanation. Bare in mind, that the page says "Palestine Territories" and not Palestine. The Israeli government does give control of the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, the company's inclusion of the Palestine Territories on their international page does not necessarily represent an endorsement of Palestinian Statehood. On Coca-Cola's international site there are links to the West Bank and Gaza; it doesn't make them Anti-Semitic because they don't call it Judea and Samaria.
In a way, this development doesn't bother me. If you give Nivea the benefit of the doubt about the Israel omission, it would seem that their motives are bushiness based. It bothers me a lot more when companies are over political, than when they have political apathy.


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