#StayWokeMonday Dove Soap Again With Controversial (Racist) Advertising

Dove posted a 3 second ad on Facebook on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 (since deleted on Saturday, Oct. 14th) that showed a black woman removing a brown shirt to reveal a white woman in a white shirt, who then removes it to reveal another woman (still with a lighter skin tone). And the interwebz went crazy – and in my opinion – rightly so. Welcome to #WTFMonday #StayWokeMonday

Dove Black to White Ad

Why would anyone think that the image of a black woman taking off a brown shirt (presumably after using Dove soap) to reveal a white woman underneath – was a good idea?! How could a team of people not realize that the advertisement has a racist and offensive undertone? It seems blatantly obvious to me that the interpretation of the ad is … black skin is dirty. Use Dove soap to get it nice and clean / white. And did you peep that “for normal to dark skin” on the bottle? Is dark skin not normal?!

Now – I might be wrong, or overacting as some of the comments in this Facebook post and this Instagram post suggest, but I can’t get past why a company selling a product, would put an advertisement out there where this kind of negative interpretation is obvious – and will thus lead to less people buying your product?! I can only think that you condone the message – or y’all are clueless as fuck!

Dove has apologized on Twitter (be sure to read the comments too) – but what does that mean? Did they fire the insensitive assholes who created the ad? Are they going to create a culture in their company that’s more aware?

Dove Ad Apology

And this is not the first time that Dove has put out an advertisement with the “dark skin is dirty skin” connotation.  Here’s an article from CNN that breaks it down for you …”In 2011, Dove released a body wash ad showing three women with a range of skin tones standing in a row, the word “before” above the head of the woman with darker skin and “after” above the head of the woman with lighter skin.”

Dove Before and After Ad

I’m pretty much done with you Dove (owned by Unilever). I won’t support a company that is trying to promote the idea that the skin I was born with is “dirty”.

What do you think? Am I overreacting?


// Comments //

  1. I felt a little less horrified about this after reading The Guardian piece by the black woman in the ad, until I remembered that people at Dove must have seen this ad and not seen the problem with it. I won’t be buying anything else from Dove either. They should really have figured out how to do better by now!

  2. Sometimes you wonder what goes on the heads of advertising executives. I mean, they had to present that campaign to Dove, right? So what made Dove decide that was an excellent campaign? I hope they go broke! Limp apology from them too, in my opinion.

  3. Kimberly

    Oct 11

    Ugh!! I saw this and my jaw dropped. Soooo NOT overreacting!

  4. nylse

    Oct 09

    probably not; it seems to be a consistent theme. maybe they’re wracked by white guilt and just can’t get their message right. glad I don’t use dove.

  5. Akilah

    Oct 09

    Dove’s “apology” is infuriating. They didn’t even cop to messing up. They’re sorry about the offense but not causing it. These people. UGH.