Dove is facing boycotts for an ad many people say is racist -- and it's happened before

People are threatening to boycott Dove after the beauty brand ran what many see as a racist commercial. 

In a 3-second video — which Dove posted on its US Facebook page on Friday — a black woman removes her top to reveal a white woman underneath. Many saw the clip as implying that for a black woman to be attractive, she’d need to lighten her skin. 

On Saturday, Dove posted on Twitter it had removed the clip and apologised. 

However, many people saw the ad as just the latest in a string of marketing efforts from Dove that elevates white beauty above that of women of colour. 

In 2011, the brand apologised for an ad for Dove VisibleCare body wash, which seemed to show a black woman as the “before” photo and a white woman as the “after” photo, with “more beautiful skin.” According to Dove, all three woman were intended to represent the benefits of using the lotion. 

Photos from the 2011 ad began circulating online over the weekend again as evidence of Dove’s history of racially-insensitive marketing. 

Dove also faced criticism in 2012 for advertising Summer Glow Lotion as for “normal to dark skin.” While the brand apologised for its word choice, saying that the bottle should have been labelled “medium to dark skin,” Dove still currently sells the “normal to dark” packaging. 

For many, Dove’s advertisements echo racist themes that have long been used in soap marketing. 

Dove said the brand is now “re-evaluating our internal processes for creating and approving content,” Reuters reported.  

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