International soap brand Dove, apologized on Saturday, Oct. 7 for posting what some called a racially insensitive Facebook advertisement.
The brand said they “deeply regret” any offense the advertisement caused.
“An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully” the company said in a tweet. “We deeply regret the offense it caused.”
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
The advertisement, which has since been deleted due to the backlash, was for a type of soap product.
It depicted a black woman wearing a brown shirt then removing it to reveal a white woman in a lighter top. A third image showed the white woman removing her shirt and an Asian-looking woman appearing in her place, according to NBC.
On Facebook, Dove posted a similar apology, stating that “the feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.”
A screenshot of the now-deleted advertisement was shared by American makeup artist Naomi Leann Blake. The post went viral garnering over 9,000 shares as of writing on Sunday, Oct. 8.
Blake captioned the screenshot with: “So I’m scrolling through Facebook and this is the #dove ad that comes up…. ok so what am I looking at.”
On Sunday, both of Dove’s Facebook and Twitter pages were filled with critical comments about the ad.
“You have lost me as a customer. Your hollow apology means nothing because the fact is your company actually thought that racist nonsense was okay,” wrote Facebook user Brittany Padma Davis. “Thanks for making my switch to Aveeno that [is] much easier.”
“This is gross. You think people of color can just wash away their melanin and become white?”Another Facebook user, Angela Reinders, commented. “What were you going for, exactly? Your creative director should be fired.”
This is not the first time Dove has come under fire for making an insensitive post. Back in 2011 a controversial advertisement depicted three women standing in front of a wall split in two parts, a “before and “after.”
In the ad, the women standing in front of the “before” image had dark skin, the woman in between had medium-toned skin and the woman in front of the “after” image was white.
At the time Dove said the ad was not intended to be negative.
“All three women are intended to demonstrate the ‘after’ product benefit. We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience,” the statement read.