Rhianna, a legend of Barbados, posing in front of a Nivea display during the period the company had hired her to promote their skin wares.
This is the question many Bajans want answered, and they're not buying the tripe that the Barbadian native and formally apppointed "Ambassador of culture" Rhianna was "too sexy" for her own good. Anyone with more than air between the ears KNOWS Rhianna is sexy, has appeared in many sexy ads and done sexy music videos. So why on Earth would you hire her for a (claimed) "family based" ad promotion unless you're totally blind, or don't keep track of modern music culture? Indeed, Rhianna's controversial music video 'California King Size Bed' evidently had been aired before Nivea hired her. (Rhianna appeared in a series of adverts for Nivea, which was a sponsor of her world tour last year, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the company.)
What is odd about this whole affair is that as recently as last month, Forbes magazine said Rhianna's sponsorship deal with Nivea had helped propel her to number three in their top 30 of the richest celebrities under 30 with earnings of $53 million in just 12 months. Obviously, Nivea had to have thought a hell of a lot of the Bajan lass to have paid her so much! Indeed, when Nivea signed up the Caribbean star last year the word out was they said they were 'very excited' to have her on board. So, to use an old Bajan expression: 'Wha happen?'
Evidently, Nivea suddenly got stuffy and toffee-nosed, or maybe stuck up is the right word. Herr Stefan Heidenreich, the new head of Nivea’s parent firm, Beiersdorf - told the German media that the singer should have been considered a 'no go' for the brand’s "family image". Oh yeah, Herr Heidenreich, then why didn't your THEN honchos do that as opposed to hiring her? Or....have the standards suddenly gotten "uppity" at Nivea? (In one ad, which I viewed online, a family is seen moisturizing with Nivea while Rhianna’s sultry hit California King Bed plays in the background. However, at NO time are any of the visuals from that video shown. So methinks Herr Heidenreich doth protest overmuch over nada. And had he kept his Über morals to himself, this wouldn't have posed any problems).
Heidenreich, adding in self-righteous tones, insists:: 'Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family and reliability.'
Well, maestro, how about "reliabiity" in keeping promises and committments to celebrities you hire. And oh, by the way, standing forthwith by the celebrity-sponsored adverts you've already put out and obviously had earlier committed to (to the tune of millions).
It's always a shame to see corporate about turns like this, based on weasly, ex post facto delivered moral overtones or reconsiderations. One hopes Heidenreich will get over it and hire Rhianna back but I am not holding my breath.
Perhaps the real reason Nivea's head honcho dumped Rhianna is that she was simply too costly - in real monetary terms - to retain at the rate Forbes noted.