When you own a company, there is no way of getting around spending countless hours and money on advertising and marketing if you want to be successful. Major corporations have spent millions of dollars to push their products in magazine ads, television commercials and radio broadcasts. It’s nearly impossible to be prosperous without putting some cash toward these ads.
Recently, Dove beauty company is wishing they had thought a little bit longer before they executed a commercial that would be seen by the world. The company, which is owned by Unilever, issued an apology after they launched a commercial that shows a black woman taking off her brown shirt to reveal a white woman wearing a light covered shirt. Seconds later, the white woman takes off her shirt to reveal another woman of color wearing a darker shirt.
The ad, which was seen all over social media, was criticized by several users, accusing it of claiming that black people are dirty.
One user stated the following…
“What Dove is trying to say is that someone who is black is dirty and all they need to do is have a shower.”
Dove responded to the criticism almost immediately and issued the following statement…
“Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity. 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. The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.”
Not all critics were convinced that Dove’s apology was genuine though, and one social media user made the following comment…
“Apologies for racism are no longer acceptable. You cannot convince us that an entire ad department looked at this ad and no one saw its problematic racist undertones.”
Evidently, this wasn’t the first time that Dove missed the mark on inappropriate ads. In 2011, they created an ad that showed a before and after picture that showed a black woman with cracked skin as the “before” photo, and a white woman with smooth skin was the “after” photo. In the middle of those two women, was another woman of color clearly showing the “in between” position compared to the other two.
In response to that ad, which was found offensive by some, Dove said the following…
“All three women are intended to demonstrate the ‘after’ product benefit. We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience.”
While Dove made a mistake and maybe could’ve thought a little bit harder about the image they were portraying, the company was quick to issue a public apology and that says something about the loyalty they have for their customers.
Commenters had a lot to say about the ad…
“That’s really bad. It’s hard to believe anyone in would think this was a good idea or appropriate.”
“This is so offensive that I can’t believe it wasn’t done on purpose.”
Some were shocked that the ad was even approved in the first place…
“How was this even approved to make in the first place?”