The soap company Dove is facing a huge tidal wave of criticism on social media for an advert which shows a black woman in a brown shirt taking it off to reveal herself to actually be a white woman.
In a picture which has since been deleted, the four panel shot shows a black woman in a brown t-shirt taking it off to reveal herself to be a white woman in a slightly pink-white shirt. The campaign was immediately slammed with people claiming the woman was being represented as “cleaning herself”, to become white.
Make-up artist Naomi Leann Blake first shared the picture, and after she did so, the soap company took to their social media company with great haste to apologise.
“Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity,” the company said on their Facebook page.
“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.”
They also took to Twitter to try and alleviate the anger felt by many.
The company added: “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused”.
Needless to say that people on social media however were not feeling in an accepting mood, and completely rejected the apology, as they blasted the company for its tactlessness and thoughtlessness.
One user said: “Lol did this even look right to y’all? I mean your whole team sat down and cleared this b******t right here? How?”
“Dear dove, I assure you us ‘women of colour’ have actual skin with colour, not a tan that you can remove. Thanks,” added another.
“How many people saw this ad? If someone raised a concern and you didn’t listen, please make them head of advertising,” said another user.
Many people took issue with the uninspiring apology that Dove offered the public.
Sonia Gupta said: “This is the most non-apology apology I’ve seen all week. Are you joining the Trump administration now? WTF is that ad even supposed to mean?”
The sentiment was shared by fellow user Senzelwe Mzila, who added: “White supremacy alive and well in boardrooms. Don’t apologise @Dove we are the foolish ones thinking that black people mattered to you.”
“Your image has me scared s**tless at taking my clothes off and there is no way I’d consider turning white a good result. Shameful,” remarked another.
Some users also highlighted examples of adverts from down the years that also showcased dubious marketing strategies that appear to represent having black skin as something that is unwelcome.
Nonhlanhla Mabhena simply said, as she showed a campaign where two panels show a ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture of three models with darkest to lightest skin stand in front of them, “You’ve done it in the past.”
Another user showed a bottle of one of their products, which has on the label the words: “nourishing lotion for normal to dark skin.”