In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt Stefan Heidrenreich, the new CEO of Beiersdorf (parent company of skincare behemoth and former Rihanna sponsor Nivea), labeled the singer "a no go" ("ein No Go") as a family-friendly representative.
Nivea hired Rihanna last year to appear in a series of advertisements and commercials. Some of the commercials were scored to her song California King Bed, a little ditty about sexy people enjoying one another's adequately moisturized skin. Nivea also sponsored the singer's 2011 world tour.
Now, it seems, trying to associate Nivea with Rihanna is like trying to pick up lotion with lit candlesticks:
"I do not understand how to associate the core brand of Nivea with Rihanna."
In response to this sterile criticism, Rihanna tweeted an image of Stefan Heidrenreich's professional headshot (not even Instagrammed – no cool filters for jerks) with the caption "No caption necessary."
No caption necessary twitter.com/rihanna/status…
— Rihanna (@rihanna) August 7, 2012
However, it seems like maybe a little bit of a caption may, in fact, have been necessary. Fans replied to the tweet asking:
Presumably, if Rihanna had included the necessary unnecessary caption, it would have said something about how of course Heidrenreich, who looks very boring, doesn't understand the first thing about SEXAY or "how to associate the core brand of Nivea with Rihanna."
After the sort of bitter but mostly confusing public fight, a spokesperson for Nivea told the magazine Marketing Week that The Rihanna had not been fired as a Nivea spokesman, but rather that her contract had simply ended in 2011 as planned. Then the statement got a little weird:
"Beiersdorf and Nivea thank Rihanna for her work in relation to the 100th birthday anniversary campaign and feel respect and sympathy for her as a person and artist."
Rihanna and Nivea: Bland sexy corporations, having an inscrutable war of words in public.