Dove Apologizes for Most Ridiculously Racist Ad Ever
Dove is here to say its sorry.
The beauty company came under heavy fire late last week after for posting a Facebook ad in which a “dirty” African-American woman uses a bottle of Dove body wash to transform into a “clean” white woman.
This is very strongly the implication, at least.
In a third image from the ad, the white woman removes her shirt (and skin, we guess) to become an Asian woman.
As you might imagine, more than a small handful of Internet users took issue with this advertisement and its theme.
“This is gross. You think people of color can just wash away their melanin and become white? What were you going for, exactly? Your creative director should be fired,” wrote Angela Reinders on Facebook.
As screen shots of the ad made their way around social media, other confused and angry individuals chimed in.
“Are you joining the Trump administration now? WTF is that ad even supposed to mean?” Sonia Gupta Tweeted at the company.
On Saturday, Dove – which is owned by Dutch-British transnational consumer goods company Unilever – issued an apology on its Twitter account for the advertisement.
The mea culpa reads as follows:
“An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.”
The company shared a similar message on Facebook:
“Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity. In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused.
“The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.
It’s always confounding when this sort of thing happens because such an ad must have been cleared by a lot of people.
It’s not as if this can be written off by a single bone-headed decision.
This is not the first time Dove has received major race-related backlash for a questionable ad, either.
In 2011, a controversial poster depicted three women standing in front of a wall designated in “before” and “after.”
The “before” woman had dark skin… the woman in between had medium-toned skin … and the woman in front of the “after” photograph was white.
In this case, Dove sought to clarify, not apologize.
“All three women are intended to demonstrate the ‘after’ product benefit. We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience,” a company statement read at the time.
But the damage has maybe already been done.
“Okay, Dove… One racist ad makes you suspect. Two racist ads makes you kinda guilty,” wrote a Twitter user yesterday, citing each of these ads from the last few years.
Others, meanwhile, remained aghast at the brand’s original intention with last week’s ad, as one person wondered:
“What exactly were yall going for?
“What was the mark . . . I mean anyone with eyes can see how offensive this is. Not one person on your staff objected to this? Wow. Will not be buying your products anymore.”
What do you think of this scandal?
Does Dove deserve all the criticism it is receiving? Will you continue to use their products?
Or is this much ado over not very much?