Dove, owned by consumer products giant Unilever, has since removed the ad but not before it received a barrage of angry responses from users of Facebook where it had been posted. Tony McDonough reports
A division of consumer products giant Unilever has been forced to apologise after an online advert for the popular Dove soap brand showed a black woman turning into a white woman.
The astonishing ad, on the Dove Facebook page, has since been removed but not before it received a barrage of angry responses from users of the social media site.
Unilever has its origins in Merseyside and it retains a major manufacturing and research centre in Port Sunlight and another research facility in Liverpool city centre.
The Facebook campaign used a series of three images, showing a black woman taking off her T-shirt to reveal a white woman underneath her skin.
A third image shows the white woman undressing to reveal an Asian woman.
Among the many people who have criticised the ad is Ava DuVernay, director of the film Selma, who said of Dove on Twitter: “You can do better than ‘missed the mark’. Flip + diminishing. Deepens your offence. You do good work. Have been for years. Do better here.”
This is not the first time the company has been accused of racism. In 2011 a before and after advert showed a black woman transitioning into a white woman after using its body wash.”
After removing the latest ad the company Tweeted: “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offence it caused.”
And in a further statement it added: “As a part of a campaign for Dove body wash, a three-second video clip was posted to the US Facebook page.
“This 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 have removed the post and have not published any other related content. We apologise deeply and sincerely for the offence that it has caused.”