Dove apologized this weekend for a social media post that the company says "missed the mark" representing black women
The offending ad was a 3-second GIF hawking Dove body wash that was posted Friday to the brand's Facebook page. It was taken down Saturday. It shows a looping image of a black woman removing a dark brown t-shirt to reveal a white woman.
"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 Sunday. "We apologize deeply and sincerely for the offense that it has caused and do not condone any activity or imagery that insults any audience."
On Friday, Naomi Blake, a 29-year-old beauty entrepreneur who runs a popular Instagram account, said she reached out to the company through Facebook to voice her concerns about the ad. She said she received a "copy and paste" response. Blake also took screenshots of the ad that soon went viral on Facebook and Twitter.
For its part, Dove, which is owned by Unilever (UL), has for more than a decade tried to take a socially conscious stance on beauty. Its ads have frequently used models of various body weights, ages and races. The campaigns "My Beauty My Say," "Real Beauty," and "#BeautyBias" have been applauded for their depictions of diversity and promotion of self confidence.