A group of racists bashing a black-owned feminine hygiene products line endorsed by Target embarrassingly backfired.
On February 4, Target released a commercial promoting Honey Pot – a line of menstrual care products made with plant-based ingredients.
The inspirational ad focusing on black women sparked almost immediate backlash, with online reviews accusing the product line for being "racist."
Here is the commercial for Honey Pot, featuring the company's founder, Bea Dixon.
In the commercial, Dixon – who launched her line in 2014 – expressed gratitude for Target for helping to launch her line in stores and emphasized the importance of Honey Pot's success.
"The reason why it's so important for Honey Pot to do well, is so the next black girl that comes up with a great idea, she could have a better opportunity."
"That means a lot to me."
Honey Pot, a black woman owned natural hair care line that’s sold in Target, had a commercial where they said they… https://t.co/p42S0DPeTV— JoJo Suya (@JoJo Suya)1583130338.0
Racist trolls complained about the alleged exclusionary angle to market the product on Trustpilot – a consumer review site hosting reviews of worldwide businesses.
One customer wrote:
"Racist commercial. Makes me feel like a white kid would not be good enough tor Honeypot products."
Target was slammed for allegedly racially "dividing people."
"If it was 'THE NEXT WHITE GIRL' ... That would have never made television, Just another example of double standards, Target should be ashamed of themselves all that is doing is dividing people ,I'm sick and tired of the whole 'BLACK' thing...how about just promoting the next successful person and leaving race out of it damm it."
White racists are so fragile they couldn't bear to hear a black woman speak about inspiring black girls and trailbl… https://t.co/oaqs0llTKa— Probably Unhelpful (@Probably Unhelpful)1583158763.0
This user blatantly called the ad a "horribly racist commercial" and hoped it would destroy Target.
"The reason she wants her company to be successful is so that it might be easier for the next 'black girl' to have a better opportunity? Shame on you Target, shame on you for promoting racism in 2020!"
"If it was a company owned by a white man, and he said I hope my company is successful so the next young 'white man'... everyone would boycott, and surround the store picketing with a media blast of outrage!"
"I hope that your disgustingly racist commercial destroys the company that you worked so hard to create, and that it sends a message to ANY young, hardworking person that you should NEVER make such a poor decision to focus on the color of someone's skin, and promoting their sex, race, religion, or political views, etc. as opposed to just building value in the products that their company produces!"
This former customer decided to ditch the products after seeing the controversial Target ad.
"I've used this brand for years now and I've always been satisfied with the results. If they really think that only black women should be empowered and white women should be left out then that's a huge step backward from the open and friendly society we tried to create over the last decades."
"I can't support a company in good faith that is openly racist about their customers."
On Monday, Trustpilot suspended Honey Pot's profile.
Trustpilot's North America director of communications, Zach Pardes, told Huffington Post that his team looked through 15,000 reviews and removed content that was offensive and riddled with hate speech.
"In short, yes, our investigations team is removing the reviews because they violate our guidelines (and quite honestly our company values as well)."
Interestingly, the backlash has had a positive effect on Honey Pot sales.
People called Honey Pot, a Black woman-owned company, “racist” after a Target ad. Its sales have now doubled, the o… https://t.co/Kzk2eJDGcS— philip lewis (@philip lewis)1583248026.0
On #HoneyPot... I've never used @thehoneypotcomp products , but now I want to go and buy everything on the shelves… https://t.co/vcxnAWD6uv— Nicki Mayo (@Nicki Mayo)1583189364.0
Dixon said that sales across retailers have increased 20% to 30% since the commercial was released back in February.
According to Buzzfeed, Honey Pot sales were 40% to 50% higher than any normal day since the slew of the vile racist comments appeared on Trustpilot.
Dixon was asserting the importance of success for her business and the fact that she did not utter a single racist comment in the ad was "extremely apparent."
"I said nothing about our product being only for black girls."
Honey Pot's slogan from the website states that their products are:
"made by humans with vaginas, for humans with vaginas."
The keyword here is "humans," and there is no mention of the product being exclusionary, unless you're a dude.
But they’re always the ones saying “not everything is about race” like it’s not that deep. Beatrice Dixon said what… https://t.co/ei8We51vO2— Boujee Virgo ✨ (@Boujee Virgo ✨)1583246978.0
A Target spokesperson said the negative online comments contradicted the "overwhelmingly positive feedback we've received from guests who love and have been inspired by Bea's story."
Stores can't seem to restock shelves fast enough.
Went to Target to get some Honey Pot products to support but there was nothing left.— MAMA (@MAMA)1583249063.0
It was already hard trying to find Honey Pot in Target now it’s gonna be impossible https://t.co/RLO7A287Fs— terpene queen 👑 (@terpene queen 👑)1583246324.0
A statement from Target read:
"Target has a longstanding commitment to empowering and investing in diverse suppliers that create a broad variety of products for our guests."
"We're proud to work with Bea Dixon and The Honey Pot team to highlight Bea's journey to build her brand and bring her products to Target."
@girlsreallyrule @Target off to Bea and Honey Pot! And thanks, Target, for bringing this company to a mass audience!— The Mad Hatter of Austin (@The Mad Hatter of Austin)1583176079.0
The comments remain overwhelmingly positive.
I didn't know what @thehoneypotcomp was until today. This is the greatest thing ever!!!! Already placed my first or… https://t.co/sIzmAz5yk2— Jenn (@Jenn)1583178856.0
Dixon told Buzzfeed that she is not taking all the scathing comments personally.
"I can't expect them to understand the plight of what it is to be a black woman co-founder in business."
In an interview with Madame Noire, the entrepreneur talked about her journey coming from a spiritual place and merging her ambitions with the business aspect.
"I didn't come from companies that went through acquisitions. I came from a place where this came from nothing and now it's turning into something."
"And for me, I never forget that. As long as I own this company, there's always going to be a spiritual element to it."