Controversy – Dove is one of the most used brand names in the beauty industry. However, a controversy was brought to the attention of many social media users when Dove released a controversial ad on specific social media platform that caught the attention of many different women, but even some men had some input on the new commercial. The controversial ad: “Beauty brand Dove deleted a "three-second video clip" from its Facebook page and admitted Saturday that it had "missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color" in an ad for body wash. Consumers had reacted angrily to images of a black woman removing a brown shirt and appearing to transform into a white woman removing a similar shirt” (Held).
Stakeholders – A stakeholder to a company means that any person, organization, social group, or society at large that has a stake in the business. Stakeholders usually want the business or company to make positive decisions because if they do so the stakeholders would be affected positively. This is the same principle if the company or business does something negative to hurt the brand name which would also hurt your stakeholders. If the company or business does something negative to hurt the brand name, stakeholders could potentially sell their stock and not be associated at all with the company or business. In this case, since this ad affect a major culture group in America, Dove could see some backlash from their stakeholders backing out of their investment deals or simply selling their shares. Product sales would also be down after this ad touched the internet.
Individualism – The only direct goal of business is to profit, and the primary obligation of the business person is to maximize profits (Salazar). Even though profiting is the main goal, the theory states that you should respect human rights and the laws of the state which your business or company is located in. In this case, Dove is the individual that is trying to maximize their profits with the ad surfacing on social media. An advertisement is definitely a good way to spread awareness of a product which can lead to more sales. However, the message being portrayed in the commercial caused a lot of backlash on social media calling the commercial “racist”. In this case, this would not be maximizing profits due to controversy that Dove created.
Utilitarianism – Utilitarianism is when we ought to bring out happiness and pleasure in all beings capable of feeling it. The reason for that is if happiness is valuable, there is no difference morally-speaking between my happiness and yours. With that being said, it was obvious that the majority of people did not agree with the message that was being portrayed in the ad. In this case to have Utilitarian value present in this situation, everyone from across all ethnicities would have to approve of the commercial not being racist and that it does still portray Dove’s products.
Kantianism – The basic principles of Kantianism is to act rationally. Don’t act inconsonantly in your own actions or consider yourself exempt from rules. In relevance to Kantianism, I believe that the people reviewing the commercial did not act rational to what was really being displayed in the message being sent out to the world. People where very outraged at the fact that it was portrayed that if you were any other color than white you would have been labeled as dirty. Kantianism also affects the stakeholders because based on the principles of Kantianism your supposed to act rational which you have abstained from impermissible actions and have done what is morally permissible or morally required. Dove did not follow the principles of Kantianism which hurts the stakeholders because it leaves the company in a negative light.
Virtue Theory – The last ethical theory I will use to assess this controversy is the virtue theory, the virtue theory has 4 main characteristics which are labeled as courage, honesty, temperance, and justice. Courage stands for risk-taking and willingness to take a stand for the right ideas and actions. Honesty is the agreements, hiring and treatment of employees, customers and other companies. Temperance is the reasonable expectations and desires. Finally, Justice is hard work, quality products, good ideas, fair practices. Sadly, Dove did not meet the measures of the Virtue theory since they broke the courage and justice characteristics. Dove did not display courage nor justice because the board that passed the commercial to be aired did not have a fair practice or a good idea along with not standing up for what would be right ideas and actions.