Dove Faces Boycotts for an Ad that People Say is Racist — and it Has Happened Before

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People have been threatening to boycott the beauty brand after Dove ran what many consider as a racist commercial.

In a 3-second video which Dove posted on Friday on its US Facebook page, a black woman removes her top to expose a white woman underneath. Many perceived the clip as suggesting that so that a black woman could be attractive, she should lighten her skin.

Dove posted on Twitter that it had removed the said clip and apologised on Saturday.

However, people saw the advertisement as just the newest in a series of marketing efforts from Dove that dignifies white beauty above that of women of colour.

In 2011, Dove apologized for an advertisement for Dove VisibleCare body wash, which appeared to portray a black woman as the “before” photo and a white woman as the “after” photo, which has “more beautiful skin.” According to the brand, all three woman were meant to represent the benefits of using the lotion.

Photos from the advertisement in 2011 started circulating online again over the weekend as evidence of the history of racially-insensitive marketing of Dove.

Dove also encountered criticism in 2012 for advertising its Summer Glow Lotion as for “normal to dark skin.” While Dove has already apologised for its choice of words, stating that the product should have been labelled with “medium to dark skin,” Dove still sells the “normal to dark” packaging currently.