Dove created an affirming campaign about real beauty that went so right — showing women that they were truly radiant as they were. Then the brand started to go so wrong, with a body-shaming campaign that mocked the female form. Now, Dove’s done it again — posting a photo intimating that a black woman should desire to be white, using the soap to wash away her color.
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
I said it before, I’ll say it again: Having true diversity on a marketing team is not only a good idea, it may end up saving money in the long-run — as well as brand reputation
Here’s what consumers were saying:
— Megha Mohan (@meghamohan) October 8, 2017
I'm never buying Dove again.
Y'all think my brown skin symbolises dirt.
— Tshwanelo Fokazi (@TshwaneloFokazi) October 8, 2017
As the matter trended on Facebook on Sunday, MSN picked up that day’s article on it from the Evening Standard. The article cites Dove’s brand reputation, especially as a barometer of American taste. It reads, in part:
The images went viral after they were screenshotted and shared on Facebook by make-up artist Nay the Mua.
She said: “What does America tell black people ... that we are judged by the colour of our skin and that includes what is considered beautiful in this country," she wrote. [Author’s note: Nay is based in Ohio.]
"To know that colorism is a problem in the world, that includes bleaching the skin, and they would put this ad out without a thought ... the tone deafness in these companies makes no sense."
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: WWTT? Dove Faces 'Body-Positive' Bottle Backlash