Dove has apologised after an advertisement was criticised as “racist” for showing a black woman removing her brown T-shirt and turning into a white woman after using body wash.
A make-up artist spotted the ad and shared screenshots on her Facebook page.
“What does America tell black people … that we are judged by the colour of our skin,” she said in a comment.
“They believe … the darker you are the less beautiful.”
In the ad, the white woman removed her t-shirt to reveal another woman.
have you even seen the full ad? pic.twitter.com/Ah6aY8nunE
— ζんﾑㄎ乇 ｱ (@ChaseHenryP) October 8, 2017
The screenshots of the ad, which has now been removed, attracted criticism on social media, with some linking it to a historical legacy of racism in soap ads.
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
— Khadi Don (@KhadiDon) October 9, 2017
In an apology posted on Twitter, Dove said its ad “missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully”.
In a statement, Dove said the video clip “did not represent the diversity of real beauty which is something Dove is passionate about and is core to our beliefs, and it should not have happened”.
“We apologise deeply and sincerely for the offence that it has caused,” it said.
It is not the first time Dove, owned by British-Dutch company Unilever, has been criticised for being racially insensitive in an ad.
A 2011 ad was also slammed for showing two women of colour and a white woman standing in front of “before” and “after” signs.
You have done it in the past.🙄 pic.twitter.com/qaGG10bePw
— Nonhlanhla Mabhena (@N0n0zA) October 7, 2017