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Skin Colour Bias: Understanding the Intersection of Media Representation and Advertising Ethics in India

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Publication date30/06/2021
Host publicationFacets of Media Laws and Intellectual Property Rights
EditorsTripti Bhushan
Place of PublicationIndia
PublisherResearch Culture Society
Number of pages7
ISBN (print)9788195148134
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper briefly highlights and comments upon the deteriorating ethics in advertising in India by using fairness cream advertisements as an example to show how such advertisements are indorsing existing biases of gender and skin colour in the society. Fairness cream brands are often accused of attaching too much importance to ‘whiteness’ or ‘fairness’ in their products by portraying that light and fair skin tone is key to having prestige, power and status in life. These advertisement are also accused of encouraging pre-existing gender and colour prejudices prevalent in the society by preying upon the careerist and consumerist desires of young women and men in the society. More importantly, such advertisements also raise issues of ethics or good conduct in doing business.