Dove ad racist?
By Sarah Holt
An advertising campaign has landed beauty brand Dove in hot water this month.
The advertisement was created for use on Facebook and, according to the BBC, it "used a series of three images, showing a black woman peeling off her T-shirt to reveal a white woman underneath her skin. A third image shows the white woman undressing to reveal an Asian woman".
The advertisement provoked an immediate backlash from users of Facebook. The news website The Quint reported: "The ad drew serious flak from Netizens calling the sequence racist."
The outraged took to Twitter and the hashtag #donewithdove started trending. The news and feature website Mic ran the headline: "#DoneWithDove begins trending after an ad showing a black woman turning into a white woman sparks controversy."
Tweets included: "@Dove your ad didn't simply "miss the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully". You showed deep racism. Disgusting. #donewithdove'' and "Y’all need to just fly away and don’t even try to come back. This is ridiculous. #DoneWithDove."
By Sunday, October 8, Dove had apologised for the offence it had caused people. Its apology read: "An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused."
The Facebook ad was taken down and, according to The Guardian, Dove released a further statement saying:
“As a part of a campaign for Dove body wash, a three-second video clip was posted to the US Facebook page.
“This did not represent the diversity of real beauty which is something Dove is passionate about and is core to our beliefs, and it should not have happened.
“We have removed the post and have not published any other related content. We apologise deeply and sincerely for the offence that it has caused.”
Dove is a brand owned by Unilever, a transnational consumer goods company that owns more than 400 different brands ranging from ice cream brand Cornetto to Domestos bleach.
On its official website Unilever describes Dove the following way:
"Dove believes that beauty is not one dimensional; it is not defined by your age, the shape or size of your body, the colour of your skin or your hair – it’s feeling like the best version of yourself. Authentic. Unique. Real. We invite all women to realise their personal potential for beauty by engaging them with products that deliver superior care."
Since Dove posted its apology, some social media users and commentators have come to the brand's defence. So who's right?