Monday, May 23, 2011

Dove body wash turns Black Women into Latino Women into White Women.

(click ad) At least, that's what one could possibly infer by the left-to-right before and after progression in this ad for Dove VisibleCare. This is so stupid, I'm thinking it's got to be a fake Photoshop ad. But it doesn't look like it. Thanks to Amelia for the tip. Previously in: Intentionally racist skin whitening ads.
update: someone else posted about this.
update #2: the ad is real.
update #3: shit-talkers, read the post. I don't say the ad is racist. I don't think the ad is racist. It's just a stupid layout. 

87 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

and they get lighter (i.e., thinner), too!

I-)

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compare and contrast...

http://revolvingsequential.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/pears-full-blog.jpg

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Compare and contrast...

i admit, i had to look twice to note the hair of the bathing child. at first, i thought it was just a very dirty child.

I-)

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that they are referring to skin texture, not color.

3:53 PM  
Blogger copyranter said...

Yes, that is what the visual behind the women is demonstrating, we understand that.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Afrodite said...

Never mind the implied or perceived racism, it's mostly false advertising, we all know that 'BLACK DON'T CRACK.'

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's real; I've seen it in a magazine.

5:41 PM  
Blogger copyranter said...

Thanks, I figured so.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...how stupid. Who are you morons that look for agendas like this?

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Kaplan said...

I am not convinced with black to white, but in Asian women you can see visible results with this products, I thinks this applies to skin types also,

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article is stupid and offensive to those who have to combat REAL issues of racism.

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, this ad was first covered by the Sociological Images blog months ago:
http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/03/21/the-pitfalls-of-marketing-race-and-beauty-in-a-dove-ad/

3:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a bad ad. But certainly not racist. Anyone in advertising wouldn't do something like this intentionally. I wouldn't have noticed this had it not been pointed out. Someone racist had to have noticed this.

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all must reall, really be bored with your lives to deal out your race cards like this. TSK TSK

4:10 AM  
Blogger copyranter said...

Notice I didn't write "racist" about this post. I wrote "stupid." I then linked to an actual racist skin cream ad. Maybe learn how to read? The problem with this ad is idiotic art direction.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Mike Strong said...

Flat out stupid reach to find this offensive. This is just dumb graphics artists who knew what they intended but didn't realize their graphics didn't communicat­e. The large wall panels behind the women are not wall panels at all. They are really enlarged patches of skin -- before and after skin -- cracked on the left side and smooth (after Dove, we are supposed to get) on the right side. Apparently they didn' t run the illustrati­ons by people who didn't know what the ad designers intended and so missed the missed message.

Because they COB'd (cut out background­) the women and then placed them over a set of extreme close ups of skin (we assume someone shot skin-patch pics, or maybe these are drawn or just invented as illustrati­ons). They did label the skin patches but because the patches are shown large and behind the women they look like wall panels and get "lost" to the eye. Instead we see the text, which is supposed to refer to the panels, we miss the panels as skin samples and in the process relate the text to the models rather than the sample skin patches.

What this shows is 1) dumb graphics 2) dumber people who want so hard to be offended that they can't even figure out how the ad was put together to realize what the ad designers thought they had succeeded in illustrati­ng and went on and on about being offended. I'm offended by dumb.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to know what agency did this. I agree with Ranter. It's idiotic. But then again, I've never been a fan of Dove's campaigns. Uber boring and over-promising.

They could have fixed this by rearranging the women. They could have (should have) also added one more woman (an Asian!). Or maybe Asians don't need skincare products?

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why isn't there concern for all the racist black tv shows, channels, colleges, organizations just for blacks. Why isn't there more on here about black racism? Racism comes in all colors.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seriously, you must be kidding! i'm sure if they showed three white women you would say they were racist for excluding minorities. had they changed the line-up would that have made a difference. in any case, the before and after photo shows the difference in skin texture and dryness, not color.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys and the guys that agree with you really don't have much to do. They are showing skin types not color you idiots. Now, knock that ole chip off your shoulder or have a lobotomy and get on with your lives.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know the ad is not racist... what bothers me more is the models themselves - going from heavier to thinner (l to r) and the body images that projects. it is like a subtle progression - you are heavy and then you use dove and then you are thinner?

I-)

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seriously get something better to discuss. your argument is so stupid.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous adgirl said...

I think it's pretty unfair to suggest racism from an advertiser who has clearly been celebrating real women in their marketing.

Sorry, but there is no intended racism in this ad. Any racism is purely in the mind of whoever views it.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i still don get how this is racist and im black... how is it racist again? something abotu skin color because i thought they had all the peopel there to show that it works for all races(they forgot asians is that racist?) and maybe you should complain how the size of the woman increases because we all know black women are the fattest and white women are the thinnest and the latinos just hanging in between *sarcasm*

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO, to presume this ad is racist would indicate the accuser(s) has a misguided personal agenda

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Copyranter, you are an idiot. You know good and well that it was not their intent to insinuate anything or to insult anyone. You say that it was stupid art direction, but at no time do you consider the fact that if we are all the same, the "order" of the women would never matter. Take the skin color out of the picture - just because you "perceive" stupidity (or others "perceive" racism) does not make it actually exist (in this instance). So many people want to be the "great whistle blower" and "save mankind" that they look for "proof" that does not exist(and that can be "proof" of stupidity, or "proof" of racism, or "proof" that SOMEONE SOMEWHERE has been wronged). It is so sad that logic and reason are no longer part of American culture and that most can't see a situation from all angles and make an intelligent opinion. I guess most are glad that they have such worthy commentators as yourself to advise them in their perceived realities.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Joe Romel said...

Wait, so now we're saying the ad's art design is idiotic because some cause-chasers tried to find a racist agenda in it? That's like saying the cloud is stupid because it could be construed as an elephant. Obviously the fault is in the moron(s) who thinks a national skin care company is trying to be anything other than all-inclusive.

And that's the funny bit to me. These companies were once hounded for putting a white face on everything, and now that basically every ad in this industry features people of color, the hypersensitive whiners are using it against them. These companies can't win.

1:15 PM  
Blogger copyranter said...

I (well the copyranter character) am an idiot...and this art direction is still stupid.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I find it strange that so many people would so VEHEMENTLY defend this crappy ad. I wouldn't be surprised if some of you actually do this for a living; that is, get paid by big companies to deflate any criticism made against them... I am sure some idiot at Dove already knows about this ongoing debate on this site. Not to mention, the idiots at the agency that did the ad. In defense of Copyranter, I'd like to say that he never used the term "racist" in his post, nor did he imply that there was something INTENTIONAL here. No, it's not intentional, it's just stupid.

On a different note, adgirl said on here "advertiser who has clearly been celebrating real women in their marketing". Really? Are you aware that Unilver, the company that owns Dove, also owns Axe? Have you see the "other" women that they show in Axe campaigns?

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow you're not only an idiot you're stupid too! There's NOTHING RACIST about this ad! Get a life rather than starting problems over nothing. Maybe you're the racist for "seeing" something that's not there. If you're that concerned over racism then focus that energy on real issues.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do African-American people always want to stir the pot and cause drama? You have your bet, black expo, and everything else!! Shut up and get a life and stop pulling the race card!!! And for everyone who says the white people had slaves. Your African American people SOLD you to Americans!!! Read the history books and get over it already!!! Look up Morgan freeman's views on racism and follow his lead. Brilliant man!!

2:42 PM  
Blogger Joe Romel said...

@Copyranter: Okay, we get that you think the art direction is stupid, but "and this is still stupid" isn't an explanation.

How is the art direction stupid? How isn't this simply another overreaction by people who live for this kind of controversy?

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm, I think you have too much time on your hands if you find fault with this ad.

As a marketing manager, I may have executed a bit differently however, I understood exactly what the visual was trying to convey, and I don't find anything offensive with this.

Get over it!

3:22 PM  
Blogger lujlp said...

I have it on good authority that the head designer of this ad was Chineese. As we all know the chineese read from right to left, so this is indeed racism, against white people

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just one word: FAIL

4:27 PM  
Blogger copyranter said...

Hold the phone! A "marketing manager" has weighed in...and as all us ad creatives know, NOBODY knows design better than a marketing manager. Comments are closed!

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Wasted said...

the morons posting here are from Consumerist, aka 'the customer is always white'.

Ignore their white person's tears CR, you're in the right.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "before" and "after" pictures of skin are exactly the same colour. As for the women Dove have always used different races in their ads so no news there whatsoever.
...
I agree with all the other commentors showing this use of the race card for what it is. It's so transparent it's laughable. You're scraping the bottom of a dirty barrel here.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you, copyranter. You're not COMPLETELY alone. It's probably because we're both over-privileged white people, though.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what happened in the ad is purely coincidental. I'm ashamed that I gave in to the temptation of following the links that led me to this blog. I thought I might end up discovering something I could learn from and fight for. Instead -- your common internet drivel. But that's my fault, I should stick to reading the work of legitimate writers who actually have a voice and message.

I am a full-figured woman whose father is Asian and mother is black and I find nothing offensive about this ad. And as someone who's been called fat, sexy, beautiful, ugly, exotic, and a mixed mutt -- yes, my opinion matters.

And now, I am going to close the tab to this blog and its ignorant opinions and never look back. I suggest you all do the same.

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing racist about this ad... all I noticed were three hot women wrapped in towels, which I enjoyed seeing.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth F said...

I see an ad showcasing a before and after picture of damaged/repaired skin and three American women happy & hydrated (epidermicly speaking). I think it'd be stupid/racist/whatever people are griping the ad to be, for an art director to say, 'Hey, wait wait, Latin girl, why don't you move over to the left and let the black girl stand in the middle? I wouldn't want anyone seeing the ad later to think we're being racially insensitive, heh" ...this is another perfect example of people focusing on the wrong things in the media. It's societally retarded for this to be topic du jour. The fact that you felt the need to devote a blog post to this subeject & that so many people have read this hogwash & replied (this one included) is stupid, not the ad.

11:41 PM  
Blogger copyranter said...

Anon 9:10pm: before I sold out, I was a "legitimate" writer, a journalist, who wrote for several daily newspapers for about six years. So, shove your dated presumptions.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must be running out of things to blog about to randomly throw a racism accusation out of nowhere.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Lara said...

The first time I saw this ad in a magazine, I had to do a double take because it really does jump out at you that the color gradients are going from dark to light, giving the impression that Dove will lighten you up! Hardly the intent, since Dove's reputation is that it will soften up your skin with the 1/4 moisture lotion content, blah blah blah. This really seems to be a case of bad artistic direction. The layout is pretty generic and more a reflection of a missed social interpretation, than any blatant message sending. Unilever needs to get a new agency - one smart enough to not let this sort of thing make it to print.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice man you just made the CBS NY news about this :)

5:27 PM  
Blogger Lee Gordon said...

Many of the comments hear remind me of the "old" Washington Redskins conversation. A whole nation of Caucasians up in arms because the target of their "largesse" objected to definitions being forced upon them... Listen, if someone from the target group is telling you your concept/reference/statement/idea, etc. is offensive... IT LIKELY IS! This is not tough math.

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LMAO at how silly this "flare up" is. First have you EVER, EVER seen a product or ad for product telling White women to go for that pale look? NO! Who buys sun tan products? There's a starting point.
Also the patches represent skin and the patches DID NOT CHANGE COLORS.
All this shows is how far inside the heads (of some Black women) thin, blonde, White women are. Worried about thin because well thin is bad, then skip the 7hrs in the beauty salon and take your butt to the gym.
Also what is a marketer to do when Black women are dying their hair blonde, and you have a product to sell, stay away from the issue? What about the fake hair industry? Black women flocking to extension but we can't market to them, otherwise......?
Skin lightening products (Forget who markets them) If they're buying can't I market and sell to them?

There should be more diversity but there are way too many trip wires to contemplate all of them.
You gotta be awful, awful insecure to get offended by this and that my friends is not Madison Ave. It's the stuff swirling in your head.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your "about me" really says it all. I doubt there's much of anything you don't hate, except your own deathless prose.

11:06 AM  
Blogger copyranter said...

The "about me" list is a joke, you tin-eared moron.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are all idiots. The big problem with today is not the racism, it is the people looking to show that racism still exists. There will always be problems in the world, we don't have to look for them all the time. Everyone wants to see bad where there isn't. If Dove had put the white woman in the middle, you would all be up in arms about how the white has to be in the middle. Just give it up. You are BREEDING racism with your idiocy. Why can't any of you applaud Dove for trying to drop the beauty label shoved down women's throats? Why can't you just look at it and see three beautiful women? Is it because all you see first in someone is their skin color? I believe that is the concept behind racism isn't it?

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Talk about looking for trouble. The author here is looking for attention.

Clearly the TRHEE WOMEN ALL ILLUSTRAT the AFTER AFFECTS.

The ABOVE "Before" and "After" is a SEPERATE ELEMENT that illustrates SKIN TEXTURE.

Here is an advertiser that uses ALL types of women and is REPOSJNBILE in doing so yet gets attacked for people looking for problems.

Just plain IDIOTIC.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Catherine said...

Do those who feel this ad is racist think that tanning salons are turning white teenagers into hispanic ones? Idiots. We as a society should be more concerned with Victoria’s Secrets ad that make teenage girls feel like they are not attractive unless they are gawky 5’10” plastic surgery freaks throwing up after every meal.

Anyone spotting racism in this ad is a perpetual faultfinders who needs to let go of their ego and grab onto reality. This ad is about DRY SKIN, NOT RACE. Seriously now. What kind of person would ever see a racial issue with this ad? Just someone who is looking to stir up trouble, file a lawsuit and make the world an even more rotten place.

You should instead be thankful that Dove is all about celebrating womens’ natural beauty and promoting HEALTHY self-esteem for young girls. Meanwhile, stop finding fault with every little thing in the world. Either try to make it a better place or go eat some rat poison. We don’t need people like you.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you need to get a life copyranter. How can we ever get past racial issues if there is always someone bringing something up. To think that this ad portrays anything other than the product works for all skin types is absolutely absurd!! You should be ashamed of yourself!!!

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the silliest thing I've seen! The before and after is on closeups of ski showing the dryness and then the moisturized skin. Since Dove just had the women standing together, they thought NOTHING of the black women standing in front of before. You are unbelievable to try and play the race card on this - that's what is wrong with this country.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous JThom said...

This little blog's failure to see the obvious message in the Dove ad --- relative health of skin NOT change in skin color --- is a negative blow to its credibility. Did it have any credible posts prior to this anyway? Still a fail.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm actually laughing that people find this ad offensive. Really? to much time on your hands. Go after real injustice; not a soap product.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG, what a collection of sad people who felt the NEED to come shake their typing fingers at a stupid ad blogger who posted about a badly designed ad. Who. Cares.

12:57 PM  
Blogger skelliher20 said...

Oh good Christ get a grip.. The ad, and the skin closeup are only referring skin texture and dryness. The patch of skin in the closeup on the right is no darker, just has fewer lines, and doesn't appear as dry. As for the women, they are all equally beautiful, regardless of size or skin color. This ad does not infer that light skin is better, simply that healthy skin is better.

Get off of your soapbox, stop stirring up senseless crap, and stop being so damned sensitive. It's seems to quickly becoming a criminal offense to be Caucasian or have light skin. Especially in today's advertising.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well thankfully on the MSN survey with 44,441 votes 89% of people think this article was just plain silly and a perverted attempt to make something out of nothing. Not everything has some hidden racial message as as a previous poster said crying wolf over nothing takes away from true instances of race

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Matt C said...

I think it is ironic that Dove tried to do the PC thing by including a diversity of races but in doing so created this unintentionally very Un-PC ad. Hilarious!!!

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

clearly people are not seeing the add clearly. the before and after in the background represents the skin changing from rough to smooth. duh

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Wendell said...

I'm a 50 year old and man that Grow up doing the 60’s and I see nothing wrong with the ad. I am sick and tired of white folks stirring up controversy about racism. I know that this is a white person making the racism claim. Because we black folk are not that sensitive. We have been through a lot in this nation’s history to allow something like this to bother us. I’m proud to see a black woman in the ad. Lots white folks go out of their way to hide their own racism by looking for it in others. However, they are the ones that are keeping racism going in America. We as Black people do not need anyone (black or white) to throw up in Americas face the old stereotype about Black folks. You are the ones that are destroying what Martin Luther King Jr. has built for us as Americas, (EQULITY). He showed through non-violence that black people did not behave in a violent manner as the stereotypes portray us. If a white person tells America that something is a form of racism. They are only expressing their own racial thoughts and feelings towards Black folks. My ancestors endowed slave, work hard, adapted and accepted their way of life, built this country, and influenced every aspect of America’s culture. Therefore, I will not let a prejudice white person or group tell me what racism is. I am a very strong, intelligent, proud Black America and I have taught my children to work hard and be proud of their country despite its problems.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are people out there in MO and the midwest with no homes due to these tornadoes,they can't find family members and have lost everything they worked for and you people waste your time over a stupid DOVE ad. Wake up get off your &*^ and go help someone in need.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding, get part of the real life. It's time to look in the mirror and quit blaming others because of your low self esteem. Your a racist by calling this out in your opinion, apply common sense. What a Joke!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks this is a racist ad is a fool and a racist themselves. How stupid have people become? Has anyone else noticed that the people making the most noise about racism are racists??? It's a soap ad, not a " white is right" campaign, get a life.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Copyranter,

You're an idiot who sees racism in white rice.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a life, copyranter! It is people like you, who deserve to just rot in a bubble since you make issues out of nothing.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of all the three, I like the african american woman most. She is very pretty and hot. The other two look skinny and old. In fact, the other two have wrinkled faces. Definitely the black lady has smoother skin. I think only guys can appreciate her beauty.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another stupid person reviewing what they want to see and not having the intelligence to see what was before their eyes. At first glance, I saw what the ad intended. The enlarged before and after skin patches of dry and not dry skin. I still don't see what the deal is with the women. women come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. so what does it matter if they are all in the same picture in any order? Just someone else trying to start trouble and keep up with the racist comments and remarks to get the public going again/still. Idiot.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a silly accusation, complaint and, therefore, discussion

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are an idiot.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous tresbelle said...

Some people need to learn to read comprehensively. His point was not that the ad is racist. His point is that the ad is stupid. Clearly this whole skin color gradiant dynamic is just bizarre. However, those of you hyped up by the Tea Party and such are so eager to accuse people of using the "race card" that you actually become equally annoying to those who do use the "race card."

3:33 PM  
Blogger katang said...

It is not about skin color. As the obesity media frenzy grows, black women are shown more than white women as overweight. Why couldn't the white lady be fat?

It's a new up and coming racism. check out the state of GA. billboards and tv ads
http://www.stopchildhoodobesity.com/

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're a sad person copyranter. It's good that you're moderating the comments because most people find you offensive.

3:37 PM  
Blogger copyranter said...

I haven't deleted one comment, you sad anonymous commenter.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anymore now a days people find any reason to turn things into racial issues. Get over it people. Beauty isnt black, latino or white its all of us. Im tired of the racisim card always getting thrown out each time soneone gets their panties in a buch.....thats a big part of why no one gets along is cause people blame history for today. Im sure there are other important things to worry about than this.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous HoustonGeek said...

Come on, the before and after are on the SKIN SAMPLES that are behind a trio of women from the three major races. Can you guys find someone worthwhile to whine about?

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black does crack. my dear

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get back to work. Everyone experiences racism, stereotypes, hatred, etc. of some sort. Stop complaining and get on with your lives. I'm white and I face it.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Larry Clemens said...

The only racists,as far I see, are those websites that stir up a false "racist" controversy to drive web traffic.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Oh my! I read Arabic and Hebrew, Dove must be trying to turn women from light to dark, and make them gain weight. Ooooh, they also didn't include any Asian, Indian, Native American, Maori, Eskimo, Pacific Islander or Albino women. Holy crap, it must be a conspiracy. Really??

5:28 PM  
Blogger Jarrod said...

This is silly. As a black guy i decree that this is nothing to get your panties in a bunch about.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think this is not racist, you're probably white.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I showed the ad to my niece (a black girl of 7 years old) and she had this reaction: "This is extremely serious!
When I asked her why it was extremely serious, she told me it was false advertising because you can not pass from dark skin to fair skin by using a shower gel.
The reacion of this 7 year old girl confirmed to me what I thought in the first place upon seeing this ad. The problem with this ad is not the supposed hiding message that Dove want to vehicle.
By titling your article as you did, you're insulting the intelligence of black people by assuming that they are so naive and stupid that they can believe a shower gel may produce this effect.
If you don't see that the before and after pannels behind the models are of the same color, then you need a good ophthalmologist.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that anybody even noticed this and thought about it is inherently racist. All 85 comments, 86 including this one, are examples of racist thought crime.

1:58 PM  
Blogger D Nor said...

I "cleaned up" Dove's act: http://deracifying-ads.tumblr.com/post/39595917550/it-seems-like-dove-had-a-few-things-to-say-about

with Color Splash+ Fx

5:40 PM  

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