If You #BoycottDove You Better Boycott #Unilever & All Its Other Brands

A friend posted an article from the Independent entitled Dove regrets its racist Facebook advert. Well, that got my attention.

Here’s a small clip of the ad:

After reading the article, I started perusing the comments. Someone replied saying:

I was never really a Dove fan. I prefer Lever 2000.”

Well, guess what?

Lever2000 and Dove are owned by the same company – Unilever. If we dig deep to see who owns what, we’ll find that one company owns all the personal care and food products that we use and love.

For example, I love the Vaseline Intensive Care Deep Moisturizing cream. The one that comes in a white bottle where you have to take off the cover to get to the cream. Love it!

Guess who owns the Vaseline brand?

So, if I’m going to boycott Dove, I better boycott the Vaseline brand as well. And Knorr cooking sauces, and Lipton tea, and Tresemmé shampoo, and Becel margarine, and Vim cleaning products, and Slimfast protein shakes.

In the grand scheme of things, corporations like Unilever can afford to make these type of “mistakes” because when consumers boycott one brand, they still have the company’s other brands in their medicine closets, on their dressers, and in their kitchen cupboards.

Boycotting a brand isn’t enough – you need to boycott the company.

  • Non-techie Talk

    Not necessarily. If other brands have better teams and are not making these mistakes, they should be rewarded, reinforcing that their better teams are the way all Unilever brands should go. In that approach, Unilever, in business to make money, should implement a better team at Dove.

    • I agree that that’s one way to avoid this problem from happening in the first place.

      But how about the consumer? What sort of action should they take? Moving teams around internally within a corporation is one thing, but when the corporation has done something which angers consumers, what should consumers do? Wait until the teams are moved around internally?

      • Non-techie Talk

        I appreciate your style, asking “what can WE DO about it?” Hey, I don’t fully agree that the problem of systemic racism is a problem for the targets of racism to solve, but I support your angle that consumers do have some power. One action brands really do care about is a drop in revenue. If people stopped buying Dove products, that’d get their attention. But that’s not pure. NFL is considering forcing players to stand for the anthem because people are turned off by seeing peaceful protest. The NFL is teetering on capitulating to the wrong side of history and truth, showing us that lost revenue itself isn’t truth. There may be more people supporting Dove than are outraged, and if they rally to buy more Dove in support, the impact of our withheld dollars is minimized. Nevertheless, remember the Nivea fiasco earlier this year? I kinda liked Nivea products themselves…but I stopped buying them in protest. Dove now joins them – these brands won’t get another hard-earned dime from me until they show some respect for the dignity of my people. As for Unilever as a whole, the pen (or, keyboard, as it were) is mighty, “writing is activism” 😉 and we can make sure, over and above our purchasing decisions and habits, that they hear our voices challenge them to acknowledge that, if all lives matter, black lives and other lives that don’t look like them should be included.