Brand Targeted With Racist Reviews Over Ad Empowering Black Women

The Honey Pot company, owned and founded by a Black woman, has seen an outpouring of support and a major sales boost as a result.

Feminine care brand The Honey Pot was targeted by racist reviews after sharing an inspiring message for young Black women in a nationwide Target commercial, prompting an outpouring of support online and a major sales boost.

The Black History Month and Women鈥檚 History Month ad spot features company founder and CEO Beatrice Dixon, who reflects on the struggles she faced founding the plant-based feminine hygiene brand.

鈥淭he reason why it鈥檚 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,鈥 Dixon says at the end of the ad.

鈥淭he whole reason I started The Honey Pot Co was because I was suffering from bacterial vaginosis for months and couldn鈥檛 get relief. One night, an ancestor visited me in a dream and gifted me with a vision to heal myself,鈥 Dixon writes on the company鈥檚 website. 鈥淲ith her help, I created the Honey Pot Co to solve for what other brands wouldn鈥檛, using the power of herbs.鈥

On Monday, Honey Pot trended on Twitter after people noted that the brand鈥檚 profile on business review site Trustpilot was being targeted with one-star ratings.

People who were apparently offended by the ad鈥檚 empowering message for young Black entrepreneurs bemoaned the ad as 鈥渞acist鈥 and 鈥渦ninclusive.鈥 Other trolls left fake bad reviews about the product.

Later Monday, Trustpilot suspended Honey Pot鈥檚 profile.

A message on the page said it was under temporary suspension while the platform reviewed the influx of comments.

Trustpilot鈥檚 North America director of communications, Zach Pardes, told HuffPost its team was sifting through more than 15,000 reviews that had flooded in over 24 hours, and were removing any in violation of the platform鈥檚 guidelines 鈥 which, according to its site, includes use of hate speech or language that has a 鈥渟exist or racial character.鈥

鈥淚n short, yes, our investigations team is removing the reviews because they violate our guidelines (and quite honestly our company values as well),鈥 he said.

Hundreds of Twitter users shared support for the brand, highlighting the systemic obstacles faced by Black female entrepreneurs and the need for more messages like the one in the Target commercial, praising trailblazers like The Honey Pot鈥檚 founder. The brand鈥檚 rating was at five stars on Monday.

The outpouring of positive messages saw The Honey Pot鈥檚 sales double by almost 50% on Monday, Dixon told BuzzFeed. Following the backlash, sales across the brand鈥檚 retailers have increased 20 to 30%, she said.

鈥淚 said nothing about our product being only for black girls,鈥 Dixon noted. She also highlighted the company鈥檚 tagline: 鈥渕ade by humans with vaginas, for humans with vaginas.鈥

In an interview with Essence, Dixon drew attention to urgent need for funding to Black women-owned businesses. She highlighted the Project Diane study from Digital Undivided that found that only 0.06% of all tech venture funding issued between 2009 and 2017 had gone to Black women-led startups.

鈥淯ntil the disparity isn鈥檛 a disparity, it has to be talked about. I don鈥檛 necessarily expect the people making the [negative] comments to know that,鈥 Dixon told Essence.

Read some of the commentary on Twitter below.