Words by Fatima Barrie
The soap company Dove sparked online outrage after a Facebook campaign posted on Friday showed a Black woman removing her brown shirt turned into a white woman wearing a cream shirt. In the next image, the white woman then turns into an Asian woman wearing a light brown shirt. Dove issued an apology Saturday afternoon stating, “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 also took to Facebook in a lengthier apology acknowledging the concerns of consumers “the feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.” The ad has now been removed, but social media users are still angry at the poorly executed campaign. This is not the first time Dove has missed the mark. Back in 2011, the brand posted an ad for Dove’s VisableCare body wash, which featured a ‘before’ and ‘after’ background with three women in front of it lined up from darkest skin tone to lightest skin tone. The ad received criticism and users accused the company for insinuating that the lightest woman, a white woman, was the ‘clean’ after result, while the black and Latino women were the ‘dirty’ before result. Dove later reached out and assured its consumers that the ad was intended to display the benefits of the body wash, making skin more beautiful within a week.
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