Colgate-Palmolive and Darlie Toothpaste

 

Darlie toothpaste is sold by Hawley & Hazel, a joint venture company that is owned 50 percent by Colgate-Palmolive and 50 percent by the Hong Kong based founders of the brand. Darlie toothpaste is sold by Hawley & Hazel in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

The history of the brand dates to the 1920s, when Hawley & Hazel, then an independent, family-owned company, introduced its toothpaste under the name "Darkie". Colgate invested in the business in 1985, with Hawley & Hazel managing the brand under terms of the joint-venture agreement that continue today.

Almost 20 years ago, Colgate initiated action by Hawley & Hazel to eliminate the derogatory English name and packaging. The English brand name became "Darlie" and a stylized man in a top hat replaced the previous racial stereotype. These changes were implemented in 1990, with costs borne by Colgate. The Chinese language name, "Hei ren," was not changed. Hawley & Hazel's research shows that Chinese consumers perceive the "Hei ren" toothpaste brand to be trustworthy, international and modern.

Colgate is committed to demonstrating respect to all people; as a result of our investment in Hawley & Hazel, the totally unacceptable English language brand name was removed from the marketplace. We understand that there are different perspectives on the Chinese language brand, and we continue to consider these perspectives in our discussions with Hawley & Hazel.

 
 
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