Sao Paulo company Santher sparked outrage on 23 October when it launched an advertising campaign for their Personal VIP Black toilet paper.

Their use of the slogan "black is beautiful" along with a white, red-haired model posing with the product, didn't sit well with consumers, reports G1.

The uproar is due to the appropriation of the "black is beautiful" slogan, which was birthed in the 1960s US civil rights movement and popularised across the world, used prominently by anti-Apartheid activist Steve Biko in South Africa.

The slogan was used to combat the notion that the natural features of black people are in some way undesirable.

Commenters were quick to call out the company on appropriating the phrase and the racial implication of using a black-positive slogan to advertise toilet paper.

"People died so that this expression could be revered until today," writer Anderson Franca wrote on his Facebook page.

"If you type 'Black is Beautiful' ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, you'll find references to Angela Davis, Malcolm X, The Black Panthers, Fela Kuti, James Baldwin, Nina Simone."

"But in Brazil if you type in #blackisbeautiful you are going to find ass paper."

The controversy reached Twitter, where users pointed out how disrespectful the move was. One wrote that the slogan "belonged to the black movement" and shouldn't have been used by an advertising company.

Another said that using the slogan for black toilet paper was turning it into a joke.

Manufacturer Santher, and advertising company Neogama, which is the creative force behind the campaign, apologised for the advert on Tuesday 24 October.

Marketing manager Lúcia Rezende said in a statement that: "The colour has always been considered an icon of style and refinement." But for many, it is not the colour that is a problem but definitely the use of the slogan.

"When these adverts suggest this type of subliminal racism they should be removed, because they reinforce the teaching of racism." Chair of the National Truth Commission of Black Slavery in Brazil, Humberto Adami, told the Guardian.

Santher's inability to understand the importance of the slogan echoes the controversy surrounding Dove, who was criticised earlier in October for its advert showcasing a black model turning white.