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Dove body wash ad stirs controversy

May 26, 2011 at 9:38 AM ET

Dove /
The Dove ad, for Visible Care body wash, has been called out for suggestions of racism.

A Dove Visible Care body wash ad has kicked up a controversy.

Critics are buzzing about the ad, which shows three women standing in front of a wall split into "before" and "after" panes. The issue: The women become gradually lighter in skin (and, some have pointed out as an aside, thinner) from left to right. 

Advertising blog Copyranter called out the ad for "turning Black Women into Latino Women into White Women." Since then, criticism has gained traction online. 

In response yesterday, Dove, whose "Real Women, Real Beauty" campaign has committed to featuring women in their real skin, "flaws" and all, since launching in 2004, issued a statement through their PR firm to Gawker.com

"We believe that real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes, colors and ages and are committed to featuring realistic and attainable images of beauty in all our advertising. We are also dedicated to educating and encouraging all women and girls to build a positive relationship with beauty, to help raise self-esteem and to enable them to realize their full potential.

The ad is intended to illustrate the benefits of using Dove VisibleCare Body Wash, by making skin visibly more beautiful in just one week. All three women are intended to demonstrate the "after" product benefit. We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience."

What do you think of the ad? 

 

Also check out: Is the term plus-size offensive?

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