In a recent Facebook ad for Dove Body wash, a black woman is seen removing her brown blouse and as she does so, a white woman in a cream colored top is revealed.
The ad is a three-second gif that has since been removed. The ad actually featured three women, each removing her shirt to reveal another woman of varying skin tones and ethnicities.
However, consumers latched onto only one portion of the ad — when the black woman is whitewashed into her fair-skinned counterpart. This concept is not new — the idea of soap cleaning a “dirty” black person into a “clean” white person has been featured in racist ads since the late 19 century.
However, there was immediate backlash from the social media community. Many users were outraged that Dove would perpetuate such racist ideas and were baffled as to how such an ad was able to pass review.
The Unilever-owned company has apologized and removed the ad.
Dove has since explained that the ad was not meant to offend or misrepresent people of color but rather “to convey that Dove Body Wash is for every woman and to be a celebration of diversity.” Dove also has said that it is reevaluating its review process to avoid future miscalculations.
But many consumers were unimpressed with Dove’s apology, pointing out that this latest controversy is in a string of many.
How can Dove repair its reputation or is it stained forever? What do you think?