The former “Darkie” name is gone and the smiling minstrel face is replaced with a man of an uncertain race in a top hat, but the toothpaste is still literally called “black people” (黑人, pronounced “hei ren” in Mandarin).
Black-people toothpaste is still sold in many Asian countries (we found this our first night in Taipei at a 7-11 two weeks ago). The parent company, Hawley & Hazel Group, is 50%-owned by Colgate-Palmolive.
On their site, Colgate says that while they replaced the “Darkie” English name with “Darlie” in 1990, they kept the “hei ren” characters because “Hawley & Hazel’s research shows that Chinese consumers perceive the ‘Hei ren’ toothpaste brand to be trustworthy, international and modern.”
If that’s the case, then how come there are zero black people on Darlie’s web site?
C’mon, Colgate-Palmolive and Hawley & Hazel people!