Just this weekend, netizens all over the world were shocked and surprised by the new and controversial Dove Ad, posted on their official Facebook page last Friday. It was taken down the following day but most of us still managed to see it!
Dove’s Controversial “Ready for a Dove Shower?” Ad
The offensive ad portrayed a 3-minute GIF with a description “Ready for a Dove Shower?” in which it showcased a black woman removing her dark brown t-shirt, only to reveal a white woman underneath. Furthermore, she removes her beige t-shirt and throws to a third woman who’s also white. Netizens were quick to lambast Dove’s ad campaign, saying how it represents racism in its core and underestimates the black women. The Dove management was quick to take down the ad campaign as they released an official statement in response.
“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,” the company said in a statement on Sunday. “We apologize deeply and sincerely for the offense that it has caused and do not condone any activity or imagery that insults any audience.”
Marissa Solan, a spokeswoman of Dove, further reiterated that their intention for the GIF was to “convey that Dove Body Wash is for every woman and a celebration of diversity but we got it wrong and, as a result, offended many people.”
However, no matter how much Dove tried to fix the damage, the word was already out and the netizens, especially those popular Hollywood endorsers, couldn’t help but comment the ad.
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
One of them is Naomi Blake, a 29-year old beauty entrepreneur who has massive followers on her Instagram account. She said how she reached out to the company about the ad. And Blake showed her distress when she only received a “copy-paste” response. Naomi also posted some screenshots about the ad that went viral over the weekend.
“How can you see a body wash ad like this and not realize? It rubbed me and many people the wrong way,” Blake said. “What are you telling the little black girls who watch this?”
Ever since the post went viral, Dove officially released a statement in response to Blake’s tweet about their ad campaign. Facebook netizens were also enraged about the campaign and they couldn’t help but leave their comments. Like one Facebook user named Ariel Macklin wrote:
“What was the mark? I mean anyone with eyes can see how offensive this is. Not one person on your staff objected to this? Wow. Will not be buying your products anymore.”. This comment of hers garnered around 1,100 likes and reactions.
This Is Not the First Time Dove Launched a Controversial Ad Campaign
Seeing as Dove has been running for more than a decade as a campaign for natural beauty, they’ve been using models with a diversity of weight, age, and races to emphasize their campaigns. One notable ad they’ve used was the “My Beauty My Say,” “Real Beauty,” and “#BeautyBias” has been lauded for their strong stance and depiction of diverse beauty and self confidence.
Unfortunately, this also isn’t the first time where Dove had some mishaps in their ad campaigns. In 2011. Dove was lambasted because of its campaign where they lined up three women and compared them from the lightest to darkest skin tone. They also appeared in “before” and “after” labels which signify that the dark skin is due to dryness and that is why it drew people’s attention, as it promoted racism.
Just this year, Dove’s UK Branch posted a short video which displays Dove’s products in various shapes and sizes. Its controversial tagline was “Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes”. The Critics said it suggested that women’s beauty is defined by its shape and size. In which, this racist line attacks those women who are plus size and those that are tiny in size.