The personal care and hygienics brand Dove has apologized for a racist Facebook ad which caused a backlash on social media for showing a black woman becoming white. But many feel the apology did not go far enough or provide any insight as to what the company was trying to convey.
The advertisement showed “before” and “after” photos of a black woman turning into a white woman after using Dove’s lotion — something they’ve done before.
Users on social media criticized the company for portraying black skin as undesirable or implying that there is a white person inside of every black person that can only be unleashed by using Dove lotion. Some users keyed in on the historical portrayal of black skin as “dirty” in soap advertisements.
— Chasity ??? (@chasityscooper) October 7, 2017
— bells (@bells110) October 8, 2017
— GoodNightHarlem (@GoodNightHarlem) October 8, 2017
— MUSTACHE CASHSTASH (@nolomoifa) October 8, 2017
Clearly whoever made this ad is jealous of how beautiful black women's skin is without the need of #dove products
— Alidelray (@alidelray) October 8, 2017
Think your racist ads & weak apology is acceptable to white women? It's absolutely not.
No more #Dove products in my home.
— ♀️ The Anti-Trump (@Im_TheAntiTrump) October 8, 2017
Lol did this even look right to y'all? I mean your whole team sat down and cleared this bullshit right here? How? pic.twitter.com/WzsZfpkxAr
— Musimbwa (@UNcubeOthungayo) October 7, 2017
#Dove sooooo basically, using Dove will wash the black off your skin and release your inner white woman. Okay got it! ?
— soyousay (@soyousay13) October 8, 2017
Though its parent company, Unilever did not issue a statement, Dove published a short apology on Twitter.
“An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused,” the corporation tweeted.
An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.
— Dove (@Dove) October 7, 2017
But consumers weren’t buying that weak statement either.
— My Hair Is Art (@myhairisart) October 8, 2017
The company also issued a slightly longer statement on Facebook, but users there were rightfully put off by that as well.
The ad was certainly unexpected for many Dove users, considering the brand has long taken advantage of feminism and women who do not fit the conventional advertising standards of beauty in its PR campaigns. Using the Dove hashtag on Twitter, users have begun to create lists of black-owned businesses and black-friendly soap companies to use as part of a boycott against the corporation.
— Melanin Mamis (@melaninmamis) October 8, 2017