These days, when it comes to advertising, you have got to be extra careful with what you’re putting out there. Many adverts have been criticised and even banned in some cases for portraying the wrong message – whether it be racism, sexism, or simply just inappropriate.
Recently, Dove have been under fire for their racist Facebook advertising campaign. The campaign released a series of images that appeared to show a black woman pulling off her shirt to reveal a white woman after using their soap. There is also a third, when an asian woman is shown, after the second woman pulls off her shirt.
People were quick to notice the obvious problem with this campaign, and they didn’t hide their disapproval, some accusing the brand of racism and whitewashing.
Dove marketing execs approving that racist ad pic.twitter.com/JNu0zvha9w
— Laura Dowrich (@ldowrich) October 8, 2017
However, some have defended the campaign, saying that they thought the brand could be used by all races.
“I think they meant it’s for all skin types… it went from black to white to another race,” said one Facebook user.
“The third woman is definitely not white but this was a bad deliverance of the message that all can use the soap,” posted another.
Either way, the advertisement has since been taken down, and the company apologised over Twitter, saying “We deeply regret the offence it caused”.
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
However, this isn’t the first time the brand have faced controversy over race. For example, two years ago, Dove were criticised after releasing a summer glow cream, advertising “normal to dark skin” on the bottle.
Furthermore, back in 2011, Dove were accused of using a before and after image that showed three women on a colour gradient, with the lightest woman suggested as the end result.
You have done it in the past.🙄 pic.twitter.com/qaGG10bePw
— Nonhlanhla Mabhena (@N0n0zA) October 7, 2017
Dove later added on to their statement: “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.”
Would the campaign receive a different reaction if the white and black woman were swapped around?
We don’t believe it would have been an issue if the two women were swapped around. Either way, while any racist offense was definitely not the intention by Dove, the problem was obvious from the start, and it should have been spotted much sooner, perhaps at the drawing board? Hopefully, we’ll get new campaign with a better message from the Dove brand next time, since advertising is now a lot trickier with sensitive Sally’s seemingly everywhere these days, but clearly this was just a very embarrassing gaffe from the lathery soap brand.
Please leave a comment down below, to tell us if you agree or disagree?
<Story by Emily Clark>
Featured Photo Credit: ABC News