Social media was on FIRE when Shea Moisture released a new commercial omitting their target market: black women. They have since offered up an apology and we have it inside…
Since yesterday, Shea Moisture has been getting dragged damn near everywhere online and within an inch of their retail life over a new commercial they just released.
The new spot popped up on their Facebook page a few days ago with the message “Break Free of Hair Hate,” but fans quickly noticed something very odd about the commercial. While the spot opened with a black woman (who appears to be biracial), it primarily focused on two white women who complained about hating their red hair, or whatever.
Since Shea Moisture is a hair care brand traditionally catering to black hair of all types, it caught their large fan base off guard. A fan base who basically put them in the successful position they're in.
The brand pulled the ad from their official channels, but you can check it out below:
We get it. They’re trying to expand and appeal to a broader audience. But when you do that and basically totally neglect your CORE consumer (as opposed to a strategic integration), ish will get called out. And that’s exactly what’s happening with Shea Moisture.
The comments sections on their Instagram & Facebook along with their Twitter mentions and hashtags are in SHAMBLES.
Black women are pissed and they’re letting the brand know it.
Here’s SOME of what’s out there (because there's PLENTY):
Black women built SheaMoisture. And not the "I was teased for having good hair" Black women. Black women will take it right on down too.
— Kimberly N. Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) April 24, 2017
The problem isn't that Shea Moisture included white women in their ad, the problem is that they excluded black women.
— MissKeith Prevost (@VoteMisskeith) April 25, 2017
Shea moisture just hit us with the AllLivesMatter version of a natural hair commercial. they in the sunken place...sigh
— Jamelle (@JamelleWD) April 24, 2017
Today, Shea Moisture’s parent Sundial Brands co-founder and CEO Richelieu Dennisaddressed the controversy saying:
“It just shows the level of love and passion people have for the brand, and how much they want to make sure it continues to stand for them, even as it starts to broaden its audience, they want to make sure they’re not left behind. And that’s clear to us. We need to make sure we spend the time engaging with that community, encouraging them, and letting them know that just because we’re growing doesn’t mean they’re less important. in fact, they become more important because they’re the ones who have always advocated for us.”
“To equate their struggles with hair to those of other women, is in their minds trivializing their struggles, and we can’t forget that. The people who are unhappy here aren’t necessarily saying they don’t like white women. What they are saying is, for decades they’ve been underserved and white women have plenty of products on the shelves and advertising aimed at them, and that we should keep our focus on our audience, and not lose that focus just because we’re broadening our audience.”
Oh, and get this. According to the Wall Street Journal, private equity firm Bain Capital (co-founded by former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney) is a minority stake owner (49%) in Sundial Brands.
And then there’s this:
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