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  Fair & Lovely  


This page was written around 2008. Some rough editing done in July 2016. This page is about a market survey results circulated by Hindustan Unilever.

Please read the page titled 'fairness fraud'. Some scientific points are in that page


Duping - Law of the Land


Quoted by MRTPC [earlier version of Competition Commission of India] in Colgate versus Hindustan Unilever fight:

The Supreme Court had ruled that  "the object is to bring honesty and truth in the relationship between the manufacturer and the consumer". And "if the general impression conveyed is false, the most punctilious and scrupulous accuracy in immaterial minutiae will not render the representations true" ...

MRTPC commented that "if the claim of "102"% anti- bacterial superiority is ultimately not found to be true," consumers by and large can be said to have been duped by such advertisement campaign.  'This injury caused to the public in general can hardly be compensated in terms of money, as the feeling of being duped cannot be evaluated in monetary terms'.

Lofty words to lull the public. And Duping goes on at an increased rate as of 2015.



Hindustan Unilever conducted a market survey for Fair & Lovely. I do not think it is a statistically valid survey. They misrepresented the survey results. They distorted some findings. Some interpretations conveyed to select persons are whimsical and flimsy. This page is a critical commentary on the above points

It was a blatant duping effort to misguide / mislead / dupe the Public


Fair & Lovely Survey Survey


Fairness is the major advertised product benefit of Fair & Lovely for over 30 years. On that basis only it has been sold to  Millions of Indians over the years.

The Survey does not check this feature at all with the respondents. Were they afraid to find out or they knew that the product may not score on that point.

See the cheapness. They have checked other minor points. [ "if the general impression conveyed is false, the most punctilious and scrupulous accuracy in immaterial minutiae will not render the representations true" ]..


Fairness was not checked at all in the Survey 


features checked

Cream 1 

Cream 2 

Cream 3

Fair & Lovely






Overall Opinion


about 5.4

near 5.4







Purchase intention

above 4.05

about 4.05








Gives me glowing skin

near 4.1

near 4.1


above 4.3






suitable for my skin

near 4.07

near 4.07

near 4.2

above 4.3


..'The 4 leading international creams included Fair & Lovely Multivitamin Total Fairness cream, L'oreal Relightening Whitening Moisturising Day cream SPF 15, Olay Total Effects cream Normal SPF 15 and Olay White Radiance Day Cream SPF 24'... 

All the products are near equal products on the features tested.  Yet Hindustan Unilever tried to present  that Fair & Lovely is better than others, Such a conclusion has no support from the survey


Comments on the Results in the above Table


1. Suitable for my skin: It is from 4 to 4.3 as per the table. There is not much difference between one and another. It is a flat statement.

No one pays Tribute for the Bio vita content. That is, users have not noted any appreciable benefit.

2. Gives me Glowing Skin:  Thank God there is not 'much glowing skin'. Imagine a lady 'with glowing face' when it is slightly dark / at night. [I am still scared of Ramsey's ghost episodes on TV]

3. Purchase Intention: querying about intention does not convey anything special. Who does not want to be a millionaire? There is a gap between intention and action. It can be wide

4. Overall Opinion: It is between 5.3 and 5.7 for all the 4 products. In simple common terms, it just means 'not bad'. That is all

To sum up, no product is exceptionally good or bad in any feature. To misrepresent them,  is cheap and mischievous



The main point of this page, the misguidance, has been said above. The other points below may have analytical, historical or supportive value.  There is so much duping and misrepresentation in the market even in the last 8 years sub kuch chalta hai is the public attitude.   I am retaining the relevant contents for the records.



Swapna in  Web Search

On 27th June, 2017

Query: Hairloss control and Hair Growth with supportive proofs:

Top Ten position for this site - about 3.7Million results:



Some details about Hindustan Lever's product survey


Fair & Lovely is available in India since about 1976, as a 'Fairness' improver for the face. Hindustan Unilever gets a sham market survey done in March 2008 after nearly 30 years. The details are supposed to be at www.totaltruth.com.

They misused the scant, shallow survey results to infer some unwarranted and questionable benefits and also had the cheapness to broadcast ‘half truths’. They misused the survey to misrepresent the product

Lever sent a 25gms tube of Fair & Lovely free, to randomly selected females, in an attractively packaged parcel through Courier. The parcel was collected by me on 10-7-2008. But for that, I would not have known. My daughter did not contact Lever for a sample

Message / msg in Carton: The cream is in a tube. The Tube is packed in an outside cardboard carton. There are msg / messages on all the 6 sides [4+2] of the carton. 'Msg in Carton' will be the abbreviation in this page

Msg in Parcel:  The carton is in a specially printed, Maroon Colour parcel box. The survey results are on the parcel and in a pasted insert. These messages are separately mentioned as 'msg in parcel'. This abbreviation is used in this page


 Lever’s self set standard Total Truth


They have used the term 'total truth' as the website name for Fair & Lovely survey results.  So, the company and the product cannot 'lie, utter half truths, hide facts or distort'. Total truth does not provide room for lies. 

 Even if one word is suspect, the integrity of Lever and the product, Fair & Lovely, becomes automatically questionable and also the Company.  Secondly, truth automatically implies honesty, above average integrity and ethical standards

Even if 1 drop of Gutter Water is mixed with 100 ml of drinking water or say, 0.01%, it is undrinkable. Let us be clear about that. This page will mention some of the obvious and obnoxious lies that glared at me


Intentional   Distorted presentation


Fair & Lovely does not have a dramatic high score on any feature. Refer the table above. 

Yet, in the leaflet, the Histograms / the rectangular graphics were slanted deliberately in a needlessly slanting position - to give the impression / appearance, that Fair & Lovely is better compared to the other 3 unnamed creams.

 Where is the proclaimed ‘truth’?  We do not know why the other companies kept quiet !


Incomparable Products ?


Out of the 4 products, only 2 seems to be directed towards Fairness.  Why add others ?


The Survey – manipulated s


A leading international market research firm did the survey! These field personnel gave each of these 4 creams to 200 randomly selected female consumers selected from across socio economic groups and between the ages of 18-40 years'

The number is insignificant and statistically invalid. To extrapolate those results to the whole of the population and in a skewed way as stated earlier is perhaps an exercise an imagination

The next paragraph says...'The study was conducted with 800 female consumers across socio economic groups, in the age group 18-40 yrs in India. The study was conducted in March 2008'.  

Why should the numbers differ?


a] 31 days Survey?  Defects glaring, inferences arbitrary

..'conducted in March 2008: These field personnel gave each of these 4 creams to 200 Randomly'..  If 200 persons were to use 4 creams, one after another, with a gap of 10 to 15 days, between one product and another, it would take 80 plus days. And the survey was conducted in March / within 31 days.

If the same person used one cream after another for a week, the whole survey is a planned sham. It is a pre planned ploy to mislead others

If each of these 4 creams was given to 4 sets of 200 randomly selected people and is meant 800 people, it is not a comparative analysis at all as different people have used different samples.

Read the results below. Confusion persists. It looks as though the report is edited / altered too much.


b] Proclaimed Results – utter dishonesty


Msg in carton: The Final Result: Total Fairness. 

Week 1 - Fresh feel, Sun Protected bright look;

week 2 - Soft and Smooth Glowing skin:

week 3 - even toned radiance -

These claims untested or not supported by the Survey


Msg in Parcel: 'Each consumer used the cream placed with her for a period of 10 days. After 10 days, the field research personnel asked the product rating on a set of predefined parameters. These parameters included overall ones, as well as specific skincare attributes'

Carton says 1 week result, as stated above, and the parcel says 10 days usage. Why the difference?

There is contradiction between the 2 sources of printed messages. Features checked with '10 days use only'

msg in parcel ?  3 more products to be used with F & L. That is, Fair & Lovely is not use alone product to get some benefit of the above features.


Shameless Lies


Msg in parcel: '99 out of 100 times Consumer panel chose F & L over other leading International brands'. * Interpretation of superiority at 99% significance of Fair & Lovely Multivitamin compared to leading international creams on overall opinion ...

From the tabled survey results, such interpretation seems totally unwarranted.


Lever lied earlier also


Some years back, Lever published a comparative advertisement for their 'No Marks Cream' with that of Garnier. Garnier is a division / brand of L'oreal. As in this parcel of Fair & Lovely, Lever claimed something in the main copy in bold letters and said something else in the side copy - small boxes. It was contradictory, cheap, unsupported claim.

Lever used 'removal' and 'reduction' as meaning the one and the same thing. Garnier pounced on Lever. The advertisement never appeared again

3. msg in parcel:  "Once again, validating the pioneering skincare technology used in Fair & Lovely"

When Lever is not able to establish the main benefit, Fairness, with the survey results, where is the proof or basis to claim pioneering expertise in Skincare Technology on the basis of Fair & Lovely? 

This is again an unwarranted over claim reaching imaginary heights without wings.


Corporate Ethics of Lever is despicable


Shri Prakash Tandon -  first Indian Chairman of Hindustan Unilever in India - Convocation address - IIM, Ahmedabad, 1969

In Business and in Life, there would always be occasions for Hard Choices and Soft options. One should go for hard choices if it is ethical and socially beneficial - recollection from memory, in my words

Just keep these words in focus and assess the points mentioned in this page. I find that the present Corporate Ethical standard of Lever is very low. The words of Mr. Tandon seems to have been buried  deep, long back


Errors and Omissions exempted.  If there be any unwanted oversights, mistake in content or suggestions for improvements,  kindly let me know
swapna hair Enricher/ saver, Cocolite, Silvershine, Autoshine and  Metashine are our brand names
Personal website of R. Ranganathan M.Sc., [ MBA - IIMA]    Main / original content: around 2000: last minor modification:  May 5, 2017