Want to beat up the Dove? Take a ticket ~ Brand Mix

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Want to beat up the Dove? Take a ticket

Last week, it was Greenpeace. It went after Dove for contributing to the destruction of Indonesia's rain by using palm oil in its products, posting an adapatation of one of Dove's iconic "real beauty" ads on YouTube (here). Before that there were charges of hypocrisy from the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood because of the very different messages coming from Dove and its brother brand, Axe.

Now it's The New Yorker's turn. Not so much a direct attack on Dove. More like running over it by accident. Its May 12th issue has a profile of Pascal Dangin, the premier retoucher of fashion photographs--the one fashion magazines and photographers turn to make their make their pictures perfect. Turns out the famous "Real Beauty" picture was a Dangin job.

“Do you know how much retouching was on that?” he says in the interview “But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive.”

This seems to be a potentially fatal error considering the point of Evolution, Dove's most famous viral video, is that our perception of beauty has been distorted by retouching tricks.

This whole ethical marketing thing is proving to be quite difficult.

Update (May 9th): Unilever is denying that this photo was retouched and Dangin is quoted in this Advertising Age article as saying: "The recent article published by The New Yorker incorrectly implies that I retouched the images in connection with the [2005] Dove 'real women' ad. I only worked on the [2007 Dove Pro-Age] campaign taken by Annie Leibovitz and was directed only to remove dust and do color correction -- both the integrity of the photographs and the women's natural beauty were maintained."

Dove's 'Real Beauty' Pics Could Be Big Phonies: Advertising Age
Pixel Perfect: New Yorker

Earlier Posts:
Now it's Greenpeace's turn to attack the Dove
Don't axe my Dove
More on axing the dove
The Dove vs. the Axe continued

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