Many South Africans were not impressed with the recent Clicks advert, which resulted in protests at the stores. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) requested a meeting with Unilever South Africa of which was granted. EFF and Unilever decided that all TRESemmé products would be removed from local retail shelves for 10 days and there would be a new diversity committee to oversee future advertising materials.
“We were shocked to discover that we had supplied images for the Clicks website that portrayed Black hair as inferior. This was racist and we apologise unreservedly. We immediately began an investigation to understand what happened. At the same time, we began reviewing all the marketing campaigns and images in our South Africa portfolio to make sure they match our commitment to celebrate all beauty and promote diversity and inclusion,” said Unilever in a statement.
The Diversity and Inclusion Assets Committee will be making sure that it represents the company’s consumers, to ensure future advertising campaigns and publicity materials reflect its values. Furthermore, the multinational consumer goods company will also be setting up an Advisory Board with internal and external experts to review how its hair care products in South Africa can offer consumers the solutions they want in positive and empowering terms.
“We want to reiterate our sincere apologies to all South Africans and to the offence caused to Black women in particular. We also apologize to the Clicks group. We will learn from this failing and we will accelerate our efforts to support the transformation of society, represent all communities and celebrate all beauty,” Unilever said.