The Dove Effect

// 16 April 2005

Dove have recently brought out a new wave of adverts under the banner of its “Campaign for Real Beauty“.

Feminists have been divided over the ads. Some expressed concerns over the term “real women”, the emphasis on selling “firming products”, or were suspicious of the Company’s motives. Others praised the campaign for bringing publicity to the body image / beauty myth debate.

Back when the ads were first launched, Dominic Mills made a persuasive argument in the Telegraph. Dove is owned by Unilever Lever Faberge, he explained, whose product range includes Lynx and Pot Noodle. “Could you imagine a Dove woman in a Lynx ad?” he wrote, hitting the nail on the head. “Hypocrisy might be too strong a word, but despite what Lever Faberge might have you believe, market pragmatism, not principle, is the driving force here.”

Maybe so. But is it possible that small steps forward, whatever the motive, are better than nothing at all?

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