Dove apologized for a social media post that was posted Friday on their Facebook page. Over the weekend they responded with a statement “missed the mark” representing black women.
The 3-second GIF about Dove body wash was a looping image of a black woman removing a dark brown t-shirt to reveal a white woman. Who then lifts her beige t-shirt to reveal a third woman.
And people on the internet were calling for a boycott of Dove for the controversial image.
“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 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.”
The attention started on Friday when 29-year-old beauty entrepreneur, Naomi Blake, reached out to the company via Facebook to share her concerns.
“How can you see a body wash ad like this and not realize? It rubbed me and many people the wrong way,” Blake told CNNMoney. “What are you telling the little black girls who watch this?”
Some compared the Dove ad to those offensive racists add of so long ago.
This is definitely a giant screw-up by Dove and heads will probably roll for this short-sightedness.
A statement for Dove from its PR shop Edelman says: “As a part of a campaign for Dove Body Wash, a 3-second video clip was posted to the U.S. Facebook page. 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 apologize deeply and sincerely for the offense that it has caused and do not condone any activity or imagery that insults any audience.”
Dove, owned by Unilever, has for more than a decade tried to make a political and social stand on beauty. In its ads, they would use models of various types of body shapes, weights, ages, and races.
In 2011 Dove was also under fire and accused of racism for lining up three women with differing skin tone from lightest to darkest. They had the words “before” and “after.” The ad was meant to send a message about skin dryness.
To Blake’s Facebook question of “what were they thinking?” Dove had this for a response.
“The content featured demonstrates the benefits of our Dove Body Wash for every type of skin,” the brand said in a message to Blake. “It offers 100% gentle cleansers, is sulfate free, and is #1 Dermatologist recommended. We are committed to representing beauty of all ages, ethnicities, shapes and sizes and to listen to all women’s needs to create great products.”
Dove’s 13-year-old “Real Beauty” campaign is intended to celebrate the beauty of all kinds of women.