Colgate reviewing Chinese toothpaste brand Darlie amid debate on racial inequality

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LONDON (Reuters) – Colgate-Palmolive (N:CL) on Thursday said it was working to review and evolve its Chinese toothpaste brand, Darlie, the latest in a string of brand reassessments amid a U.S. debate on racial inequality.

Darlie is a Chinese brand owned by Colgate and its joint venture partner Hawley & Hazel. Its package features a smiling man in a top hat. Its previous name was Darkie, and featured a man in blackface.

Its current Chinese name still translates to “black person toothpaste.”

“For more than 35 years, we have been working together to evolve the brand, including substantial changes to the name, logo and packaging. We are currently working with our partner to review and further evolve all aspects of the brand, including the brand name,” a Colgate spokesman told Reuters in an email.

Colgate’s statement followed news on Wednesday that PepsiCo Inc (O:PEP) was dropping its Aunt Jemima logo, prompting other brands to initiate reviews.