This is what happens when an African-American targeted brand creates a new direction to gain a broader range of consumers and fails epically…
Shea Moisture, a reputable and one of the top-notch hair/skin care line for women of color, are under fire for their new ads that display mostly “melanin-challenged” women…basically, women who don’t look like most of their customer base. According to those who claim they’ve supported the SM brand for years, their new marketing strategy is a slap in the face to those who obviously cannot culturally or personally relate to the women featured in the ads. The brand receives major backlash on social media and loss of fans, as a result.
Watch the ads below before they get snatched!
Of course, the brand issues an apology.
Wow, okay – so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up. Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate. You guys know that we have always stood for inclusion in beauty and have always fought for our community and given them credit for not just building our business but for shifting the beauty landscape. So, the feedback we are seeing here brings to light a very important point. While this campaign included several different videos showing different ethnicities and hair types to demonstrate the breadth and depth of each individual’s hair journey, we must absolutely ensure moving forward that our community is well-represented in each one so that the women who have led this movement never feel that their hair journey is minimized in any way. We are keenly aware of the journey that WOC face – and our work will continue to serve as the inspiration for work like the Perception Institute’s Good Hair Study/Implicit Association Test that suggests that a majority of people, regardless of race and gender, hold some bias towards women of color based on their textured or natural hair. So, you’re right. We are different – and we should know better.
Thank you all, as always, for the honest and candid feedback. We hear you. We’re listening. We appreciate you. We count on you. And we’re always here for you. Thank you, #SheaFam, for being there for us, even when we make mistakes. Here’s to growing and building together…
What are your thoughts?