New Dove VisibleCare ad sparks controversy

This is Dove’s latest ad which can be found on its website here. The placement of the black woman on the left under the “Before” category, the Latina woman in the middle and the white woman on the right under the  “After” column is causing some to question what the company’s subliminal message is. The company did release a statement, according to Gawker, which read:

“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.”

If you look closely at the ad, you can see the pictures on the wall of what skin supposedly looks like before using the product and what Dove claims it will look like after using the product. So, it does seem that the company made a genuine attempt at a clever advertising campaign.

What do you think? Do you think the company is attempting to send a subliminal message to its audience? Or do you think this is being blown out of proportion?