Korean beauty company Stylenanda, which is owned by L'Oreal, has recently come under fire for allegedly photoshopping a model's hand to appear darker in an ad campaign for nailpolish. The photos quickly went viral on twitter, as many noticed that the darker hand was uniformly dark rather than lighter on the palm, indicating that it was the result of photoshop or makeup and not a darker-skinned model. Although neither L'Oreal nor Stylenanda has admitted to altering the hand, Stylenanda did remove the ad and posted an image that reads "We are sincerely sorry for the upset caused. We have since removed the picture and will no longer be using it to illustrate our products." L'Oreal has not commented.
Some have called the company racist, but I think perhaps "culturally insensitive" is a better description in this case. I don't think there was any malice behind the advertisement, but I do think that if they wanted to represent two different skin tones on the ad, then they should have simply hired a model with darker skin rather than altering a light-skinned person's hand. It's worth mentioning that they were aimed towards a Korean audience, so there may have been some cultural differences that led to the misstep. Either way, I understand why they removed the ad in order to avoid controversy.
Do you think the company's ad campaign was insensitive, or have people overreacted?