Dove Soap Ad: Advertisement Criticized as Racist

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Dove soap.

Dove has apologized for running a soap ad on Facebook that many are interpreting as racist because it shows a black woman lifting her shirt to reveal a white woman underneath.

An Asian woman then appears in another frame in the much criticized ad.

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Dove pulled the advertisement and wrote on Twitter, “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.”

Dove wrote a slightly lengthier statement on Facebook about the ad. It reads, “Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity. In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused. The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.”

People filled social media with criticism of the company. “#Dove my dark skin is not a disease that needs to be cured by your products. @Dove,” wrote one woman.

According to NBC News, “A screenshot of the advertisement was first shared by American makeup artist Naomi Leann Blake, which went viral and was shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter.”

Here’s Blake’s initial post. She wrote with it, “So I’m scrolling through Facebook and this is the #dove ad that comes up…. ok so what am I looking at….”

She also posted a screenshot of the other woman in the ad.

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Dove has been criticized as racially insensitive before for posting a “before and after” advertisement with a woman of color listed as “before” and a white woman the “after.” According to NBC, “In 2011, a controversial ad showed three women standing in front of a wall designated in ‘before’ and ‘after.’ The woman standing in front of the ‘before’ image had dark skin, a woman in between had medium-toned skin and the woman in front of the ‘after’ image was white.”

Dove critics on Twitter said the new ad resembles racial sanitizing ads of the past.

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