Cameroon’s Communication boss and government spokesman Rene Emmanuel Sadi has banned a controversial advert on skin lightening by CARIMO. The communique signed on October 22, 2020 by Rene Sadi reads “The Minister of Communication informs the public that an advertising campaign promoting skin lightening products has been launched some time ago by a cosmetic product manufacturing company called “CARIMO”, through posters and on social networks. On observation, the advertising poster at the center of this campaign features value judgments about people based on the colour of their skin and therefore likely to undermine their dignity. Moreover, the referal messages which emerge from them suggest attacks on ethics and public morals. The Minister of Communication notes that the said promotional campaign is in total violation of Law N ° 2006/018 of December 29, 2006 governing Advertising in Cameroon, which, in its article 23, prescribes “the conformity of advertising messages with the requirements of decency and morality ”and provides in its article 24 that “the advertising messages must be free from any racial discrimination.” In addition, the aforementioned law engages in its article 57, the penal responsibility of the one who disseminates an advertising message containing elements of such a nature as to be contemptuous of a race or a religion.” The communique reads.
Rene Emmanuel Sadi has also ordered the promoter of the company “CARIMO” to put an end to what he called illicit and outrageous advertising activity, by removing all the posters of this campaign on the billboards in the country.
Several controversies and wide spread condemnations emerged when this particular advert was launched by the company. Cameroonians wondered why a company promoting skin lightening would put up such a poster just to attract customers.
Many believe that the minister’s decision suspending the said advert will serve as an example to other companies planning to put up similar adverts.