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dove has apologised for bizarre, racist advert

More than "missing the mark."

by Zoé Dreadon
|
09 October 2017, 5:00am

via Twitter. 

Dove has admitted they "missed the mark" with a recent ad, showing a black woman removing her top to reveal a white woman underneath, supposedly after using the the brand's body wash.

Backlash to the video, originally posted on Dove's Facebook, came swiftly. Munroe Bergdorf, who was recently fired from L'Oréal for speaking out against racism, tweeted this message to the brand: "Diversity is viewed as a buzzword or a trend. An opportunity to sell product to women of colour. Dove — do better."

They soon took down the campaign and issued this apology on Twitter: "An image recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offence caused." Ava DuVernay responded, "You can do better than "missed the mark." Flip + diminishing. Deepens your offense [sic]. You do good work. Have been for years. Do better here."

As many angered commenters noted, it's surprising that no-one at Dove noticed how offensive their imagery was. In the past, the brand has vowed to feature "real women of different ages, sizes, ethnicities, hair colour, type or style."

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time the brand's advertising has failed to live up to their diversity pledges. Two years ago they released a 'Summer Glow' cream that was advertised for "normal to dark" skin, and back in 2011 another ad appeared to show a black woman as their 'before' shot, and a white woman as the 'after.' It's also worth noting that while Dove like to market themselves as embracing 'real women,' their parent company, Unilever, sells skin-lightening creams in India. The Fair and Lovely brand advertise lighter skin as a competitive advantage: their tagline, "Fair and Lovely: The Power of Beauty."