Thai Brand Apologizes for Blackface Ad That Said ‘You Just Need to Be White to Win’

Skin-whitening spot is pulled

A Thai company has apologized for producing an ad for a skin-whitening product that featured a woman in blackface and suggested people with dark skin are losers.

The company, Seoul Secret, pulled the ad off YouTube on Friday, Reuters reports. The ad showed two women side by side, one of whom suddenly becomes dark-skinned, much to her evident distress. "You just need to be white to win," said the tagline.

This isn't the first time the issue has come up in Thailand, where a pale complexion is  associated with a higher social status. But Seoul Secret denied any intention of being racist.

"Our company did not have any intention to convey discriminatory or racist messages," Seoul Secret wrote on Facebook. "What we intended to convey was that self-improvement in terms of personality, appearance, skills, and professionally is crucial."