October 9 

The Dove brand sheepishly admitted Saturday that it had “missed the mark” with a not-so-vaguely racist advertisement that made it the latest target of consumer rage.

But angry and befuddled Dove lovers spent the weekend wondering what mark Dove was trying to hit in the first place.

The ire-inducing advertisement was released Saturday afternoon. The first frame shows a dark-skinned woman in what appears to be a bathroom, a bottle of Dove body wash in the lower right-hand corner of the frame.

In subsequent frames, the woman reaches down and lifts up her shirt (and apparently the rest of her skin/costume) to reveal a smiling white woman.

Offended social media users erupted, and the company quickly apologized. But Dove’s two-sentence Twitter note and a slightly longer message on Facebook left it unclear what exactly the ad was trying to convey.

An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.



Unilever, Dove’s parent company, did not respond to Washington Post requests for comment on the ad.