Dove has issued an apology after an ad featuring a black woman removing her shirt to reveal a white woman was widely slammed for being racist.
In a statement, the beauty company wrote: “Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity. 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.”
Dove, owned by Unilever, has also since removed the ad — a 3-second gif — from its Facebook page.
The controversial ad originally featured a black woman taking off her brown shirt to reveal a white woman wearing a cream-colored shirt. The white woman then removes her shirt to reveal another woman of color wearing a darker toned shirt.
However, many social media users say the damage is done.
“What Dove is trying to say is that someone who is black is dirty and all they need to do is have a shower,” one Facebook user wrote.
Another said: “Apologies for racism are no longer acceptable. You cannot convince us that an entire ad department looked at this ad and no one saw its problematic racist undertones.”
This is not the first time Dove published a questionable ad.
In 2011, Dove was slammed for an image that showed three woman standing side-by-side. Behind them was a sign reading “before” that depicted discolored and cracked skin and a sign reading “after” that showed smooth skin. The black woman was positioned in front of the “before” sign, a white woman stood in front of the “after” sign and another woman of color stood in the middle.
"All three women are intended to demonstrate the ‘after’ product benefit," Edelman, Dove’s public relations firm, said in a statement at the time. "We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience."