Damage control 2.0: Dove as a case in point

DOVE'S CAMPAIGN FOR REAL BEAUTY NOT SO REAL AFTER ALL? I was reading a magazine article and noticed an innocent revelation that could have ...

9 May 2008 1961 Views

DOVE’S CAMPAIGN FOR REAL BEAUTY NOT SO REAL AFTER ALL?

DoveI was reading a magazine article and noticed an innocent revelation that could have some negative impact for Dove and their agency Ogilvy.

It’s a story in the May 12th edition of The New Yorker on Pascal Dangin a photo retoucher. He talks about extensively retouching the models used in Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty which, at least on the surface, seems to go against the whole idea of the campaign and makes the brand message seem less than genuine.

“I mentioned the Dove ad campaign that proudly featured lumpier-than-usual “real women” in their undergarments. It turned out that it was a Dangin job. “Do you know how much retouching was on that?” he asked.”

I don’t think this will be a major issue for Dove, but it  is a great example of how using the internet wisely right now could help keep this minor revelation from seriously undermining their campaign and brand.

There are plenty of arguments to be drawn up in Dove’s defense. But using conventional media to advance these arguments can only make Dove look overtly defensive and thereby guilty in the eyes of their customers. Ads, press conferences or even press releases would just fan the flames.

The web, however, provides a more neutral and nimble platform to respond. If I were Dove I’d be sure to have my people on the internet 24/7 for the next few days finding posts like this and presenting their side of the story in an honest and balanced manner. I’d forgive them — probably.  Let’s see if they ever show up.

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Sean Duffy | @brandranter
Speaker, consultant & founder of Duffy Agency, the flipped digital agency that provides accelerated growth to aspiring international brands.