CAPE TOWN - Personal care and beauty brand, Dove has caused a racial controversy on social media on Sunday with its latest 'racist' advert.
This comes after the beauty brand released a series of images during the week, supposedly aimed at "representing the beauty of diversity".
The sequence images represents a black woman taking off a brown T-shirt in the first frame, with a white woman being revealed in the last frame.
The racial-suggestive images have caused outrage on social media, with users threatening to boycott the beauty brand.
Twitter reactions to #Dove advert:
the racist dove ad is a continuation of a long history of racist soap advertising pic.twitter.com/nO7iDT7dxH
Who made this meal ? #Dove pic.twitter.com/foeC0BwWcr
— Abuti Benzo (@AbutiBenzo) October 9, 2017
Dove be like. #DoveSoap #Dove pic.twitter.com/1qEKdwLO99
— Khadi Don (@KhadiDon) October 9, 2017
In a bid to set the record straight, Dove has since apologised for the 'racist' advert.
In response to a Dove US Facebook post pic.twitter.com/xi5PAETMcw
— Dove South Africa (@Dove_ZA) October 8, 2017
The company reiterates the importance of the diversity of beauty. However, their advert has suggested otherwise, suggesting a uniform and Eurocentric-type of beauty.
Crisis management practitioner, Wendy Masters from The Phoenix Partnership gave her input on the Dove situation:
"This is the second time Dove has come under fire for insensitivity in their adverts. While they removed the ad and apologised swiftly, I don’t believe the apology went far enough in dealing with the core of what really angered people. Nor have they addressed what they are doing to interrogate how ads like this are getting through multiple check points without anyone questioning the execution of an ad campaign like this".
"Dove has done good work for many years and they present their brand as one that celebrates diversity - which means that this is the sort of crisis they will fear the most as it has struck at the very heart of their brand value", says Masters.
Masters further makes reference to a prior incident in which the brand came under fire for racist-suggestive imagery in 2011.
Dove's 2011 ad that has also caused controversy for racist slur and suggestion
This makes it increasingly difficult for Dove to redeem its reputation.
Although Dove sent out a public statement of apology, Masters says that it does not resound sincerity.
An apology consists of 3 parts, says Masters:
1. Apologise, say sorry
2. Take accountability and say: it's my fault
3. Ask what can I do to make it right?
And lastly, the apology has to be followed by action.
Picture: A good apology in 3 parts. (Not copyright to The Phoenix Partnership) Supplied.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE