The Honey Pot, a Black-owned, plant-based feminine care line, was bombarded with racist reviews after being featured in a Target ad wherein the company’s co-founder Beatrice Dixon shared her hope for other creative Black girls.
“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.”
Monday morning #HoneyPot began trending on Twitter after brand supporters noticed the brand’s reviews were being heavily raided with nasty one-star reviews.
The wave of racist reviewers shared their kindred “disappointment” with the “extremely racist” commercial and vowed to discontinue use of the products. The negative reviews included fake profiles with stereotypical “Black” names. They expressed their personal bad experiences with the feminine products and hair care products that do not exist in the Honey Pot line. White men also chimed in to support the woes of their women.
The Viral backlash led the Black online community to show up and show out in response.
Black Twitter users began posting pictures of their HoneyPot purchases until products were sold off the shelves.
In an exclusive with Essence, the unbothered co-founder eloquently stated, “I wasn’t necessarily blindsided [by the negative reactions], but I also didn’t have an expectation.”
She continued: “This was not Honey Pot’s commercial, it was Target’s commercial. It was shot during Black History Month and for Women’s History Month. They chose that particular clip for a reason. I’m here for that story and that’s why I said it. I know that there’s a huge disparity when you look at the funding of businesses. I’m always going to be a proponent of us doing what we have to do so this isn’t even a conversation. The only thing we as Black women business owners can do is make really successful businesses.”
In a statement to USA Today, Target responded to the backlash: “We’re aware of some negative comments about the campaign, which aren’t in line with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from guests who love and have been inspired by Bea’s story.”
In another statement to Forbes, Target expressed its full support of Dixon and The Honey Pot: “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.”
The viral negative reviews ultimately resulted in Honey Pot sales doubling. Dixon revealed to Buzzfeed News that her company’s sales were up 40% to 50% higher than what they would be on a typical day.
Although many people tried it, The Honey Pot soared above the negativity and truly made it easier for the next Black girl.