Dove Issues Statement Apologizing for Racially Insensitive Ad That “Missed the Mark”

Over the weekend, Dove became the center of controversy as an ad posted to their Facebook account for Dove body wash portrayed a black woman who used the soap turning into a white woman. Although the photos that were taken from the ad was only a snippet of a longer video showing a third woman, the implications were hard to deny, and immediate backlash quickly followed.


The ad from the personal hygiene brand was no doubt tone deaf and showcased the company’s ignorance when it comes to certain racial implications placed on black people. Black people have been made to feel as if the color of their skin is synonymous to being “dirty” and “unclean,” and Dove’s ad showcasing a black woman taking off her brown shirt and transforming into a white woman was a heavy blow from a company that claims to strive to be inclusive by spotlighting diversity in their models and campaigns – especially in the last decade or so.

Dove has taken a socially conscious stance when it comes to how they represent beauty and to emphasize that have ads that feature women of different sizes, ages, races, and all walks of life. Most recently, they partnered with author and Shondaland creator Shonda Rhimes for Real Beauty Productions, underneath the header of their “Real Beauty” campaign.

However, despite the several moves forward, this is not the first time Dove has received backlash and been called out for seemingly racist ads. In 2011, Dove was criticized for an ad created for the brand’s VisibleCare body wash that featured three women – one black, one Hispanic, and one white – and they all stood in front of before and after images of skin. Jezebel referred to the ad as implying, “Bye-bye black skin, hello white skin! (Scrub hard!)”

Dove has since issued a statement for the body wash ad that “missed the mark” via Twitter:

Check out how Twitter weighed in on the Dove ad below:


Photo Credit: @NayTheMua

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.

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