If you’ve seen the ‘Dove‘ hashtag on Twitter and if you’re wondering what it’s all about, here is the low-down. A video clip was posted on the company’s US Facebook page showing a black woman taking off her brown T-shirt and turning into a white woman after using the product. In the last image the woman is revealed to be Asian.
The post has since been removed from their page, but while that post has been taken down, there are screenshots from the ad circulating broadly online.
In a statement Dove apologised for any offence caused by the advert and said it doesn’t condone any activity or imagery that insults any audience. The corporate giant says it “missed the mark” in thoughtfully representing women of colour.
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
We’re going to be honest, it doesn’t look good for the company. As can be seen, the advert has caused outrage on social media. Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa retweeted the advert and wrote, “We strongly condemn this racist campaign by @Dove and note with concern that this is not the first time they’ve been called out for racism.”
An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.
— Dove (@Dove) October 7, 2017
Verlie Oosthuizen, an attorney and partner at Shepstone and Wylie, said it was unlikely that Dove could face any legal action. She said although the advert may be seen as offensive, the intention behind it was not to perpetrate hate speech.