Dove recently scrambled after many called a recent marketing effort “tone deaf.”
The company—which has made headlines in the past for bold, empowering campaigns—had its recent ad go viral after makeup artist Naomi Blake shared screenshots of it to her Facebook page. The post garnered more than 10,500 shares at time of publication:
On “Good Morning America,” anchor Adrienne Bankert reported:
It was compiled from four screen grabs from a three-second video Dove posted on its Facebook page, showing three women of different ethnicities each removing a t-shirt in matching skin tones to reveal the next.
Ok here’s a video of the dove commercial I think the video isn’t bad… I saw the pic and i got upset now tht I see the video I’m not. pic.twitter.com/3waVaczmfZ
— jennifer lopez (@helloximxjenny) October 9, 2017
Many voiced their displeasure with tweets such as this:
— CEO Frank (@Groovy_Frank) October 8, 2017
Blake also said she offered suggestions to Dove’s marketing team:
Dove pulled the ad and issued an apology via 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 (@Dove) October 7, 2017
On Monday, Dove posted the following to its Facebook page:
Though the ad sparked backlash, some consumers said they didn’t see how the spot was offensive:
Part of the problem probably stemmed from consumers seeing only the short GIF instead of the whole commercial:
After seeing the actual @Dove commercial & not just the screenshots, I think Dove should take back their apology. Nothing wrong with the ad!
— Nicole Lynn (@AgentNicoleLynn) October 9, 2017
Exactly! I could tell who saw the whole commercial and who saw the pic on FB based on the reactions. Go watch the whole Dove commercial
— The Beard Whisperer (@Teach4theStars) October 8, 2017
Yall probably should have watched the full ad of the dove commercial. The black model spoke out about it pic.twitter.com/5wXDgRcnV1
— Sierra (@StillSheSmiles) October 9, 2017
Other consumers pointed out that Dove also faced similar criticism for a past marketing effort.
This is not the first time Dove, which is owned by multinational Unilever, has been in hot water over an apparently racist ad. In 2011, Dove released an ad that showed women with a range of skin tones that appeared to suggest the “before” picture was that of a woman with darker skin, while “after” was above the woman with the lightest skin. Dove denied the interpretation of the ad at the time, insisting that the “three women are intended to demonstrate the ‘after’ product benefit.”
How would you advise Dove to proceed, PR Daily readers?