Selena Roberts | Staff Writer
Dove is known to be an inclusive brand featuring women of different sizes and races in the brand’s advertisements.
Recently, Dove faced controversy due to a commercial featuring an African American model wearing a brown T-shirt who took her shirt off, revealing a white woman wearing a beige shirt. Some people took offense to the ad, saying that it was insensitive and racist. Dove ultimately took the commercial down due to the overwhelming amount of backlash.
This is not the first time Dove has been the center of controversy due to its choice in advertisement. Back in 2011, the brand was under scrutiny after it featured an ad that showed three women in front of an image of different types of skin textures. The white woman was in front of the image displaying soft skin, while the African American woman was standing in front of the picture that showed dry skin. In addition to that, Dove offended some customers again when it included a “normal to dark skin” label on one of its products.
There is a divide between the public’s perceptions of what Dove was trying to convey in its latest ad. Students on campus had mixed views about the promotion. Although the majority of the public seemed to be offended by Dove, others believed the message was taken out of context.
“I did not think that there was anything wrong with the ad,” said Dave Smith, a freshman MBA major from Connecticut. “I thought it was fine.”
Lisa Jenkins, a freshman biology major, said, “I thought that Dove should have known better and, ultimately, they just missed the mark,”
The model featured in the ad, Lola Ogunyemi, made a statement sharing her views on the negative reception the ad received.
“I don’t feel it was racist,” Ogunyemi said. “The screenshots that have taken the media by storm paint a slightly different picture.”
However, the model made it clear that she was not informed by Dove how the commercial would turn out.
“This did not represent the diversity of real beauty which is something Dove is passionate about and is core to our beliefs, and it should not have happened,” the company said in a statement.
The controversy shed light on the ongoing issue that is seen by major companies and their lack of sensitivity.
Earlier this year, Pepsi was under scrutiny because of a commercial featuring Kendall Jenner. Critics claimed that Pepsi was imitating the Black Lives Matter movement and in a way de-escalating the seriousness of the campaign.
Shea Moisture was under fire for its choice of advertisement as well. The brand was accused of having a lack of representation of different hair types. Customers thought the company’s ad was straying from its core values.