Dove has removed and apologised for a Facebook advert showing a black woman turning into a white woman, after thousands of complaints dubbed it racist. The three-second gif advertising body lotion shows a black woman taking off her brown t-shirt to reveal a white woman wearing a pale pink t-shirt underneath. A third image shows the white woman then removing her top to become an Asian woman.
After Dove published the campaign, it was shared widely on social media to a mostly negative response and has prompted the company to issue an apologetic, if short, statement in reaction. “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.” Facebook commenters have used the incident to bring up Dove’s past controversies, including a body wash ad in 2011 that pictured a trio of women against a colour gradient, suggesting the black woman as the “before” and a white woman as the “after” in the image.
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