Dove & Dangin Controversy

May 12, 2008 at 1:38 pm 5 comments

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty emphasizes a woman’s inner beauty. The campaign succeeds on both a public relations and advertising level. The campaign uses “real women” models and authentic photos. For the four years, Dove has harped upon its genuine interest in women’s self-esteem. Dove has even produced videos like “Onslaught” and “Evolution” that demonstrate the unnatural depictions of women in the media.

However, in The New Yorker magazine last week one of Dove’s touch-up artists, Pascal Dangin, expressed his involvement in the Pro-Age portion of the Campaign for Real Beauty. “Do you know how much retouching was on that?” Dangin said. “But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive.”

(Pascal Dangin photo courtesy of The New Yorker magazine)

In the same article, Dangin’s work is characterized by a “whiff of black magic” and it’s “not often discussed outside of [fashion circles].” Could the Dove photographs be phonies?

Dove representatives immediately responded that the photos were not retouched beyond basic color correction and dust removal. The photographer and Dangin himself joined Dove by saying that the photographs were authentic. Dangin said his quote was taken out of context.

So, where is the controversy? Dangin and Dove both refute the fact the photos were retouched beyond basic, ethical changes. However, from the beginning of the campaign, Dove has maintained that its photos are not retouched. Dove promised models in the Pro-Age campaign that their photos were not retouched. Wendy Katzman, one of the models, told Advertising Age magazine, “We asked and were explicitly told that none of our [Dove Pro-Age] photos were retouched. I just heard about The New Yorker article last night and was pretty upset about it!”

Despite the minor changes, Dove maintained from the beginning that it did not change the photographs. These inconsistent statements led to Dove’s seemingly contradictory behavior. Will Dove lose some of its brand power from this latest controversy? Does this issue even matter? Let me know your thoughts.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

Dell’s Blogosphere Woes Accenture Blog Review

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tiffanyderville  |  May 18, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Ben, thank you for drawing attention to this issue. I think this is a black eye for Dove (couldn’t resist the play on words).

    Despite the problems with promoting beauty products like firming cream to promote “real beauty,” despite the latest controversy, and despite the fact that Dove is owned by Unilever (the owner of Axe products), I am grateful to Dove for at least moving things in the right direction. You might want to read
    Stephanie’s discussion of the Dove campaign

  • 2. benson09oregon  |  May 20, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    I too think Dove is moving advertising and public relations in the right direction. To be truthful, I don’t think I own a Dove product, but I love the Dove brand. Unilever has struck gold with its soap.

  • 3. jennie  |  August 2, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    i really think that dove is trying to install what real beauty means to these girls. most girls don’t have a lot of self esteem and the fact that dove is taking the time and setting aside money to come up with a program for girls is a great thing. i really don’t think that people should down talk the program or the company for any reason whatsoever. dove keep up the good work.

  • 4. Atrormniminty  |  August 3, 2008 at 2:59 am


  • 5. Elastic Strap  |  July 6, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I visited multiple web pages but the audio quality for
    audio songs present at this website is actually marvelous.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

About the Blogger

My name is Ben Benson. I attend the University of Oregon. I will graduate next spring with a degree in public relations from the School of Journalism and Communication.
Add to Technorati Favorites

%d bloggers like this: