People are threatening to boycott Dove after the beauty brand ran what many see as a racist commercial.
In a 3-second video – which Dove posted on its US Facebook page on Friday – a black woman removes her top to reveal a white woman underneath. Many saw the clip as implying that for a black woman to be attractive, she’d need to lighten her skin.
On Saturday, Dove posted on Twitter it had removed the clip and apologized.
However, many people saw the ad as just the latest in a string of marketing efforts from Dove that elevates white beauty above that of women of color.
In 2011, the brand apologized for an ad for Dove VisibleCare body wash, which seemed to show a black woman as the “before” photo and a white woman as the “after” photo, with “more beautiful skin.” According to Dove, all three woman were intended to represent the benefits of using the lotion.
— Megha Mohan (@meghamohan) October 8, 2017
What is this supposed to mean? Dove must respect us. pic.twitter.com/Lpgi4sBLnD
— IG @AdvBarryRoux (@AdvBarryRoux) October 8, 2017
— Aunty ka Duduzane???? (@Zee_Pudding) October 8, 2017
Photos from the 2011 ad began circulating online over the weekend again as evidence of Dove’s history of racially-insensitive marketing.
One racist ad makes you suspect.
Two racist ads makes you kinda guilty. pic.twitter.com/hAwNCN84h2
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 8, 2017
— jonalisa (@jonalisag) October 8, 2017
Dove also faced criticism in 2012 for advertising Summer Glow Lotion as for “normal to dark skin.” While the brand apologized for its word choice, saying that the bottle should have been labeled “medium to dark skin,” Dove still currently sells the “normal to dark” packaging.
— miye tani (@miye1) October 8, 2017
— Rod Williams (@BeatBullyMuzik) October 9, 2017
— . (@ThatoR_) October 8, 2017
For many, Dove’s advertisements echo racist themes that have long been used in soap marketing.
— Lil Nick (@nickkerr1961) October 9, 2017
Let's be clear, Dove knew exactly what they were doing with their racist ad. Soap companies used to do this racist theme all the time pic.twitter.com/EzvAiExNcP
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) October 8, 2017
Dove said the brand is now “re-evaluating our internal processes for creating and approving content,” Reuters reported.