Dove apologises for 'racist' Facebook ad showing black woman turning white

Wednesday, 11 Oct, 2017

Dove faced heat for a body-wash ad showing a sequence of a black woman taking off her brown shirt to reveal a white woman, with many social-media users calling the GIF clip racist. Screenshots of the ad were first circulated by make up artist Naythemua on her Facebook page. (In 2011 Dove faced controversy for an ad promoting "visibly more handsome skin" that showed three women-lined up from darkest skin tone to lightest-in front of a wall that read "before" and "after.") Others, including director Ava DuVernay and actress Danielle Brooks (who wrote an essay in response to the ad for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter), expressed disappointment that the apology didn't go far enough.

"So I'm scrolling through Facebook and this is the #dove ad that comes up. ok so what am I looking at." she wrote. "It needs more than a simple apology", another wrote.

Many people took this advertisement to mean that light-skinned people are "clean", while people with dark skin tones are "dirty", which is a narrative many ad companies used in the late 1880s to early 1900s to sell soap. The "before" poster is positioned behind the black woman and the "after" poster is behind the white woman.

Dove later apologised for the ad claiming it had "missed the mark". "Passive Aggressive racism at its best", another commenter added. Dove quickly removed the advertisement and issued an apology.

Dove issued mea culpas via Twitter and Facebook, saying it "missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused". 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.

Are U buying this apology??

Dove was responding to criticism after the image was shared widely on social media. In another ad from a few years ago, three women are seen lining up under signs that read "before" and "after".