Personal care brand Dove has been forced to apologise after releasing a series of “racist” images that appeared to show a black woman turning white after using the soap.
The “deeply ignorant” campaign sees a black woman peeling off her T-shirt to reveal a white woman underneath her skin.
A third image shows the white woman undressing to reveal an Asian woman.
Dove, owned by consumer goods giant Unilever, said it had “missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully”.
The cosmetics firm wrote on Twitter: “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offence it caused.”
It was unclear which market was targeted with the adverts, but makeup artist Naythemua, who first posted the images on Facebook, said the campaign was “tone deaf” and indicative of the messaging black people in the US receive about the colour of their skin.
“What does America tell black people…that we are judged by the colour of our skin and that includes what is considered beautiful in this country,” she wrote.