Hair-raising racist blunder by Unilever

2 weeks ago

South Africa’s biggest retailers will no longer sell TRESemmé hair products, following protests over an advert that denigrated black hair.

Pictures of African hair were labelled “frizzy and dull”, “dry and damaged” in an online advert for TRESemmé products featured by pharmacy chain Clicks.

White hair, meanwhile, was labelled “normal” and “fine and flat”.
South Africa’s Clicks Group said it will remove TRESemmé products, a Unilever brand, from its shelves after an advertisement posted on the drug retailer’s website was accused of being racist.

Chief executive of Clicks, Vikesh Ramsunder apologised, adding that an audit of all promotional material would be “urgently implemented” as well as diversity and inclusivity training.

Protesters in South Africa have mobbed Clicks beauty stores after it ran the ad.

One shop sustained minor damage after being firebombed, police said.
Unilever says, “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.”  
More here.

Economic Freedom Fighters’ leader Julius Malema protesting against the retailer’s advert that depicted black hair as inferior to white hair. View here.

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