London: Unilever-owned personal care brand Dove has deleted a "three-second video clip" from its Facebook page, apologising for the racially insensitive ad by saying that the company "missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully".
The advertisement showed a black woman wearing a brown shirt removing her top to reveal a white woman in a lighter top.
A third image then showed the white woman removing her shirt to show a woman of apparently Asian descent, nbcnews.com reported late on Sunday.
"An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offence it caused," Dove posted after removing the ad that stirred a controversy on social media.
"Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity. The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we'll use it to guide us in the future," it added.
The ad triggered backlash from consumers.
"This is gross. You think people of colour can just wash away their melanin and become white? What were you going for, exactly? Your creative director should be fired," one Facebook user posted.
A screenshot of the advertisement was first shared by US makeup artist Naomi Leann Blake which later went viral.