Dove deletes body wash ad that showed a black woman turning white

dove body wash
Dove/Facebook

Over the weekend Dove posted a video clip of a Black woman removing her brown T-shirt and turning into a White woman on their Facebook page, igniting a slew of accusations of racism and insensitivity.

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The company deleted the post and issued an apology, but all I can think is, "does Dove's marketing department not employ a single person of color?!" Which would be an even bigger problem than the ad itself.

The caption on the offensive GIF? "Ready for a Dove shower?" Cue facepalm. This does not look good, Dove. Not at all. And it is absolutely shocking that no one involved in the marketing and social media promotion processes caught just how bad this looks.

To make matters worse, the company did not catch the issue until two days after the original post, giving the Internet plenty of time to get up in arms.

When they finally deleted the post, the official apology said, "...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..."

At this point the backlash is so severe that even the arguably weak apology is being harshly criticized. At the time of this post, the apology post had garnered nearly 5,000 comments, most of which were disparaging, with many people saying they will never buy Dove again.

I actually think the people at Dove, which is owned by Unilever, are probably as innocent as they are claiming to be. Regardless, it's an absolutely unacceptable gaffe from a company who has tried to build its brand on the concepts of diversity, inclusivity and empowerment.

That said, it's not Dove's first racially insensitive flub. Back in 2011, they featured a commercial in which three women with different skintones were shown side-by-side with cracked skin--the Black woman being depicted as the "before" using Dove products and the White woman the "after."

Topics: ad campaign  fails