Boycott or bureaucracy? An Israeli blogger was astonished to discover that Nivea skin product company does not list Israel among the countries that sell its products, while the Palestinian territories do appear on its website.
After raising the issue with the company, Beiersdorf – who owns the Nivea brand – promptly added Israel to the list, and linked it to an empty co.il site.
The company claimed that the reason Israel was not listed on the website is because there was no local marketing platform that customers could be directed to. But a brief search showed that the Palestinian territories had no such site either, and was in fact linked to the same website as Lebanon's or Kuwait's – a general website for Middle East countries that can be viewed in English or Arabic.
If this is the case, the "Yafutoo in La-La-Land" blogger wondered, why not link Israel to the same site in English, or to its parallel European website?
Beiersdorf officials insisted that Israel's name was not omitted due to a boycott or any other political reasons, claiming that Nivea's Israel branch is managed by Greece, and similarly Malta and Cyprus also do not appear on the list of countries because they are managed by another country. However, due to growing protest, the company decided to add Israel to the list and will soon launch a website in Hebrew and English.
'Stop double standard'"My issue with the company stems from the fact that they intentionally omitted Israel from their website," wrote the blogger, "This smells of double standard. If the company included Israel in its export market, then it surely reaps the benefits from the sales.
"These benefits might be insignificant compared to its profit from the Arab market, but as a customer, I couldn't care less about these financial considerations," the blogger added.
"As a customer, I demand full transparency from the company. Hence, if they opted for an anti-Israeli marketing scheme, at least announce it in public and let the Israeli public decide if it wants to continue funding you. We will not allow you to sit on the fence, while reaping the benefits at our expense, and denying our sovereignty as a State."
The representative of Nivea in Israel, Alpa Cosmetics, stated in response: "Nivea's international site lists only 80 countries out of over 150 states that sell Nivea products. This issue is especially apparent in the case of Malta, Scotland, Bosnia Herzegovina and others.
"These states are under the logistic management of other countries. In our case, both Israel and Cyprus are managed by Greece and supervised by the official representative in Athens, and therefore do not appear on the list.
"Notwithstanding, we have acted immediately to receive mentioning on Nivea's international website in order to provide proper customer service," it stated.
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