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Dove debuts anti-ageism #KeepTheGrey effort after TV anchor loses job for ‘going grey’

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By Kendra Clark | Senior Reporter

August 22, 2022 | 7 min read

The Unilever-owned personal care and beauty company is encouraging women to embrace their grey hair in a new campaign designed to fight age-based discrimination.

Woman with grey hair

Dove embraces ‘going grey’ with new social media campaign / Natasha Brazil

Dove is taking a stance against ageism in the workplace. The company, which has built its brand on diversity and inclusivity and last year making waves with its powerful ‘Reverse Selfie‘ campaign designed to combat social media image retouching, announced today that it’s ‘going grey’. In a post shared to Instagram, the brand said: “Women with grey hair are being aged out of the workplace, so Dove is going grey.”

The brand is changing its gold logo to a grey version across its social channels to show support for older women and women with grey hair who may face undue workplace discrimination.

It’s encouraging consumers everywhere to signal their support by updating their profile pictures to greyscale images and to use the hashtag #KeepTheGrey across social media. “Together we can support women aging beautifully on their own terms,” said the brand in its Instagram post.

“There is a lot of discussion about ageism right now and Dove wanted to harness that energy for good,” explains Laura Douglas, Dove Canada masterbrand manager. “Dove has been committed to making a positive experience of beauty available for all women for the past 60 years. We do this both by taking concrete actions towards beauty inclusiveness for all women and self-esteem for girls.”

To back up this claim, the brand is donating $100,000 to Catalyst, a global nonprofit organization founded by feminist writer Felice Schwartz that is committed to making workplaces everywhere more inclusive for women.

The announcement comes a week after Lisa LaFlamme, a Canadian journalist and longtime TV anchor and senior editor of the country’s popular news program CTV National News, reportedly lost her job over her decision to stop dying her hair. The Globe and Mail reported that a senior executive at the network “asked who had approved the decision to ‘let Lisa’s hair go grey’”.

In a two-minute video posted to Twitter on August 15, LaFlamme announced she’d been “blindsided” by CTV’s decision to abruptly end her contract after 35 years with the network. “At 58, I still thought I’d have a lot more time to tell more of the stories that impact our daily lives,” she said.

The public has been quick to condemn CTV’s decision as ageist and discriminatory.

A LinkedIn post by Mary Soroka, global associate creative director at Edelman, a global public relations and marketing firm that works with Dove, implied that the brand’s new anti-ageism push was at least in part inspired by LaFlamme’s story.

“The Dove #KeepTheGrey campaign,” says Dove's Douglas, “aims to rally support for women from being aged out, often in the prime of their careers, because they’ve chosen to wear their hair grey.”

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