Dove is facing a backlash on social media after launching the latest phase of its #SpeakBeautiful campaign which seeks to "spread positivity" online.
The Unilever-owned brand has courted mixed reaction on Twitter for the initiative which encourages women to partake in a 're-do' challenge. The concept requires women to ask friends who are being negative online, be it about themselves or others, to post two positive tweets for every cynical one they share using the hashtag #SpeakBeautiful.
— Dove (@Dove) October 18, 2016
Published yesterday (18 October), the tweet is part of a wider project from the company to combat trolling around female body image and appearance. The campaign is based on the fact that over 5m negative tweets about beauty and body image were published in 2015, and aims to flood Twitter with messages of support and positivity.
Back in March the launch video provoked controversy for striking the wrong tone with women, with the Washington Post accusing Dove of appointing itself as the "Internet's positivity police," and saying that the FMCG's brand was being "invasive."
Seven months on, and the latest iteration has caused waves again, with dozens of replies criticising Dove for "telling women how they should feel."
@Dove guys this is really, really patronising
— starship (@starshippyflyby) October 19, 2016
@Dove serious error with this campaign. This isn't positivity its social control. Stop it
— (((Sarah May))) (@Sarah_May1) October 19, 2016
— i bumble about town (@tinyearlobe) October 19, 2016
— Suze Azzopardi (@TheAzzo) October 18, 2016
@Dove or you could encourage people to listen to women instead of dismissing their voices
— Chris Sorrentino (@cj_sorrentino) October 19, 2016
.@Dove a girl isn't allowed to express herself the way she wants to without a soap company getting in her face?
— Steve Delfino (@SteveDelfino) October 18, 2016
Others, meanwhile, 'fixed' the campaign for Dove with some interpretations of their own.
— rustle crawlskin (@Choplogik) October 18, 2016
— mostly ghost (@rymdprins) October 19, 2016
Some of the responses online were positive, with a separate tweet linking to a 'Speak Beautiful Digital Glossary' compiled by MTV host Franchesca Ramsey has clocked up a lot of Retweets.
The response to Dove's initiative follows on from a promise by Unilever to stamp out stereotyping in its advertising. In September, the company's executive vice-president of global marketing Aline Santos, told how the crusade was helping it grow its brands.
“[We want to apply the model to] all brands in the Unilever portfolio, that is something that we want to do as a company,” she said at the time. “But this isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. We have been bold enough to say that is what we want to do, that is our commitment and if people want to judge us and say ‘oh you didn’t do it here’, then yes you are right we didn’t, but we have started something and it is very serious commitment."
The Drum has reached out to Dove for further comment on the #SpeakBeautiful campaign and will update this article if it responds.