Personal healthcare brand Dove has been forced to apologise after releasing a series of Facebook adverts that appeared to show a black woman turning white after using their soap.
The brand was accused of racism over the online advertising campaign and it later admitted it had “missed the mark” with an image posted on the social network.
The advert “showed a black woman removing her top to reveal a white woman underneath supposedly after using Dove body lotion,” reports The Guardian.
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“It was unclear which market was targeted with the adverts,” says The Independent but they first came to wider attention when makeup artist Naomi Blake posted the images on Facebook saying the campaign was “tone deaf” and an example of the kind of messaging black people in the US receive about the colour of their skin.
“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. “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.”
Dove, owned by consumer goods giant Unilever wrote on Twitter: “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offence it caused.”
But this is not the first time that Dove has faced accusations of racism for their campaigns, adds the BBC.
“In 2011, Dove was accused of racism for using a before and after image that appeared to place three women on a colour gradient, with the lightest woman suggested as the end result,” notes the broadcaster.
While in 2015, Dove was at the centre of controversy after it released a summer glow cream advertised for use on “normal to dark skin.”
Dove added later in a 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.”
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