Shea Moisture, a brand founded and built on the black woman’s dollar is seriously stirring the pot! This week the hair brand released an ad campaign that completely alienated their core demographic. To make matters worse, the Shea Moisture Ad Controversy took another disastrous and disrespectful turn as the brand attempted to apologize. What happened and should we continue to give support to such a company?
Really?! Shea Moisture Ad Controversy – Brand F Bombs Consumers in Apology
We get it, everyone makes mistakes. This is why we were content with waiting to see how Shea Moisture handled the backlash. However, to us they failed. In a long-winded statement the hair company admitted that they made a mistake. Yet, the fashion in which they did it was absolutely deplorable. Shea Moisture said, “Wow, okay – so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up.”
Come again? The fact that Shea Moisture approved an apology that begins like that is disturbing. They are basically saying the black community will be okay with derogatory terms. To them that’s how to relate, find a common ground and get on the level of a person of color so they will understand.
NO. It is apparent that the non-black shareholders who now basically own and run Shea Moisture have watched too many music videos. How we [black girls] are unfortunately often portrayed is nowhere close to how we truly are and act. Moreover, when speaking to other races have you ever seen a company F-bomb them when apologizing? Of course not! They would never come close to using that type of language. However, for black women they felt it was okay to talk that way.
Well, it’s not. When apologizing, that is the time to save face and try to win back customers. Yet, Shea Moisture felt it was fine to curse and ultimately lack class, which shows they are not sorry. Moreover, it demonstrates their level of respect for black women and it is very poor. How’s that for “real talk?”
Shea Moisture Ad Controversy – Black Women Respond
It looks like we are not alone in feeling that Shea Moisture went a step too far. Former customers of the brand are saying:
“I’ve always liked this product, but no more. Boycott Shea Moisture.”
“We need to support the companies that are keeping the black dollars in the community and not mainstream.”
“I am seriously rethinking purchasing your products because I was insulted by that ad. It is the black community that made you what you are and you do us like this! We are always forgotten about after folks start making money using BLACK dollars.”
“How about the BLACK WOMEN who are the CORE CONSUMERS of your brand, that has placed you on the level of success you hold now?!”
“You guys need to fire your marketing and branding manager! That ad was soooo distasteful and very much false advertisment. Loyal customer SMH.”
“Wow… I am in shock and disappointed. Really?
“Hey y’all try out Eden Bodyworks products; they are all natural, they smell great and I like them more.”
“Black women make up 99% of your market. The women you represented in your video don’t even buy your products. You guys are a huge disappointment and I haven’t really gotten to try your products but I’m offended for all the black women who have.”
“Don’t target us as your customers then not represent us in your ads is the bottom line.”
Shea Moisture Ad Controversy
Another aspect of this situation to keep in mind is that black women can see the writing on the wall. We have gone down this path before and we know how the story ends. Whenever companies pull the old switcheroo and begin forgetting about their black consumers everything changes. From products lines right down to the formulas themselves. Why is the latter such an issue?
When it comes to black hair, a product’s formula is everything. Black hair is completely different from every other race’s hair texture. We need different nutrients and oils to keep our strands on a “Queen” level. Therefore, if a company reformulates a product in order to relate more to a consumer of another race [which has happened to black consumers many times] that same product ceases to work anymore for a black woman.
For instance a woman with naturally straight strands may dread a product with tons of oil, whereas a woman with curly hair would gladly welcome it. Hair is not an one product fits all. So then, there has to be products specially made to fit various textures.
What the Shea Moisture Ad Controversy is showing is that the company wants to move in another direction. Moreover, that path is going in the opposite of the consumer base that made them a household name.
Shea Moisture Ad Controversy – Conclusion
The fact that Shea Moisture knew they needed to apologize puts the proof right in the pudding. Moreover, the brand has also attempted to perform damage control by pulling the new ad. With black women spending a billion dollars on products we are not surprised by Shea Moisture’s mad scramble to save face. However, their half-hearted attempts is falling on many deaf ears.
Nevertheless, in the coming months we will see what else Shea Moisture does to right the wrong. In their extremely fake apology they mention that they, ” hear… listen.. count on … appreciate… [and want to] grow and build together.” Well, guess we will see if they truly mean any of it. Until then we will continue to keep our hair, money and loyalty far away from Shea Moisture since that’s obvious where they want to be when it comes to “us.”
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