We’ve looked at many PR crises before and the common theme between them all is poor execution of ideas.
Saturday, I saw a tweet of a Dove advertisement that I felt had to be fake – these days, Photoshop can make anything look real. The next day, I saw Dove tweeted an apology.
— Arianna Models (@AriannaModels) October 7, 2017
— Tonnisha Jae (@tonnishaenglish) October 8, 2017
An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.
— Dove (@Dove) October 7, 2017
You would think after Pepsi x Kendall, brands would understand that being insensitive when it comes to issues of race and discrimination, is a sure way ruin your reputation and credibility. But what happens when brands miss the mark more than once?
One racist ad makes you suspect.
Two racist ads makes you kinda guilty. pic.twitter.com/hAwNCN84h2
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 8, 2017
As a woman of color, I am completely shocked by this Dove campaign and very confused as to how this made its way from design to publish. I have been a loyal customer to this brand but my moral compass is making me question if I will continue to do so.
Can Dove recover? Probably. They have the money to launch a nationwide campaign to fix their reputation. We’ve seen it happen multiple times. How many people even talk about Pepsi’s crisis anymore?
Two simple ways something like this can be avoided:
1. Speak Up – If you have a seat at the table, you need to speak up. It is your duty to ensure that advertisements and campaigns that are racially insensitive, sexist, or targeting a particular group of people or religion do not make it out into the public. By sitting in silence, you are just as guilty.
2. Diversify the Table – Every team should have people of all ages, races, gender, sexual identity, religion, etc. to ensure that your company is properly represented. If you do not have this kind of diversity on your team, you need to implement ways to gauge of the opinion of those people with focus groups, surveys, test groups, etc.
It’s not rocket science marketing pros. Think before you print.