Dove Cosmetics Tenders Public Apology, Pulls ‘Racist’ Ad Down


The Dove cosmetics brand has come out with a public apology after one of its adverts caused an uproar on social media as it was viewed as racist.

The controversial advert was a 3-second GIF advertising Dove cosmetics body wash that was posted on Friday to the brand’s Facebook page. It depicted a black woman pulling a dark brown t-shirt over her head and emerged as a white woman wearing a light coloured shirt. Also featuring in the add is a bottle of the body wash. The post has since been pulled down from social media on Saturday.

Dove Cosmetics

Admittedly, the ad seems to carry a wrong message and social media didn’t waste any time in pointing it out. Subsequently, the brand was lambasted on social media as many users suggested a boycott of their beauty products.

The post quickly went viral and in no time became the talk of social media. This compelled the company to issue a public apology on Dove SA’s Facebook page‚ saying the advertising campaign had “missed the mark.”

“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. Our richness lies in our diversity. Our beauty comes in different shapes‚ sizes‚ hair textures and skin tones. We believe beauty is diverse and diversity is beautiful,” it read.

“We have removed the post and have not published any other content‚” the statement said.

The company went on to apologise for the offence the clip had caused.

Taking to Twitter, the popular brand owned by Unilever also tried to reach out to as many as possible, saying: “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.”

For the most part, Dove has tried to take a socially conscious stance on beauty for the past decade. The brand uses ads with models of various body weights, ages and races.

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However, the brand is no stranger to controversy that results from sending the wrong message during a campaign. In 2011, an ad for one line of Dove body washes was also accused of racism. The ad used in promoting the line lined up three women from lightest to darkest skin tone. They appeared below the words “before” and “after,” suggesting that the skin becomes lighter and better after using the lotion.

Dove Cosmetics