Dove soap has received deserved accolades for its “Real Beauty” campaign, which has run for over a decade. Running counter to the supermodel look of so many ads, it shows that women of all sizes, colors and ages can be beautiful.
The campaign grew out of market research done for Dove by Edelman – 3,000 women in 10 countries – which reported that only 2 percent of women interviewed considered themselves beautiful.
At the same time, Dove got in trouble over the weekend for a social media ad – an animated gif – showing a black women using Dove and turning into a clean white woman.
They quickly apologized and pulled the ad, saying it was misunderstood (?), but it wasn’t the first time that they have run ads equating white with clean, black with dirty.
But perhaps because the ad was released over a holiday weekend and quickly taken down, it didn’t provoke the volume of outrage of some earlier corporate insensitivity.
Brands have to be sensitive all the time, and you have to wonder what the chain of command was that approved that ad. Does Dove have people of color (women of color) involved in the creation and approval of their campaigns. They obviously need to.