TRESemmé and Unilever SA apologise for Clicks hair ad

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By Sihle Mlambo Time of article publishedSep 7, 2020

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Johannesburg – As members of the EFF and security staff hired by Clicks continue to face off over an offensive advert published last week, TRESemme – the company responsible for the advert, has apologised, saying they are investigating ’how this happened’.

The advert, which referred to images of black women’s hair as dull and damaged, while it described white women’s hair as fine, flat or normal, was part of a TRESemmé promotional campaign published on the Clicks website.

Since Friday, Clicks has faced a massive backlash on social media.

Clicks chief executive officer Vikesh Ramsyunder said those responsible had been suspended.

“Already, the negligent employees have been suspended, and we have engaged the supplier, who has now also issued an apology.

“This incident has highlighted the need to audit all of our third-party (and our own) promotional material for any implicit or explicit bias as well as the need for diversity and inclusivity training for all of our head office employees. This will be urgently implemented,” he said in an open letter.

Meanwhile, TRESemmé South Africa and Unilever have also apologised for their advert.

In a statement on the Unilever website, TRESemmé South Africa said: “We are very sorry that images used in a TRESemmé South Africa marketing campaign on the Clicks website promote racist stereotypes about hair.

“The campaign set out to celebrate the beauty of all hair types and the range of solutions that TRESemmé offers, but we got it wrong.

“The images are not in line with the values of our brand, or of Clicks.

“TRESemmé South Africa apologises for the offence these images have caused. We also apologise to the Clicks group.

“We are looking into how this happened and why it wasn’t picked up, and we will take all necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” the group said.

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