Dove Runs Another Disastrous Ad and Get Called Out for Racism

How many total screw-ups does it take before a company does something?

Dove ran a Facebook ad that jammed on the “racist” button so hard that the company took it down and issued an apology within hours. A series of images showed a black women pulling her sweater up to reveal a white redhead.

CREDIT: Getty Images

This is the second time since May that Dove had to apologize for a promotion. The previous one involved a campaign that was supposed to have women choose shampoo bottles based on their body shapes. All the bottles were white, as well. It’s easy to run an emotionally tasteless ad once, get bad feedback, and pull in the reins on the marketing department. When it happens twice in five months, you’ve got a problem and should do something about it.

The image should have been difficult for any professional communicator to look at once and assume there would be no public problem. It creates a clear implication of beauty involving people being white.

Dove says they, “missed the mark” with campaign appearing to show a black woman turn white after using their soap. https://t.co/kqQYXsNfjd pic.twitter.com/VKVFWfaYyW

— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) October 8, 2017
It isn’t the first time the brand has run a questionable campaign. In May 2017, Dove ran a commercial that was supposed to “celebrate the many shapes and sizes of beauty.”

 

As I said back then:

So, “real beauty breaks moulds” as the video says. And, presumably, when it can’t, it just uses a series of molds that women are supposed to fit themselves into. There’s the tall-and-skinny Olive Oyl look, willowy, the pear-shaped bottle, one that’s top heavy, another that’s bottom heavy, the short and dumpy, and a seventh that might make you think you had picked up a bottle of shampoo.
All of the bottles standing are in Dove’s favorite shade of white.

Some of this may be a failure of imagination and thought. For example, in 2011, apparently there was another ad.

You have done it in the past.
You have done it in the past.

|INC

 

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