'Advert is offensive, racist,' says Unilever as it plans to withdraw TRESemmé products


Some South Africans on social media are praising the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for taking action over the TRESemmé advert, published on Clicks' website, after various retailers, including the Shoprite, Makro, Dischem and Pick n Pay, removed the hair products from their stores.


We have confirmed that all TRESemme products have been withdrawn from our shelves. The decision was taken on Tuesday and this has been implemented across our stores nationally.

— Dis-Chem (@Dischem) September 10, 2020

The advert caused outrage among many after it described images of white women's hair as "fine and normal", while that of black women as "dry and damaged".

With the #ThankYouEFF hashtag seen trending on Twitter, the EFF protested at more than 400 Clicks stores, however, the party' planned week-long shutdown was put to the sword by the High Court in Pretoria after the retailer was granted an interdict.

Following a meeting with Unilever South Africa representatives, the party confirmed on Thursday that the consumer goods company would also withdraw TRESemmé products from all retail stores for a period of 10 days.

ALSO READ: Five people arrested for malicious damage to property following protest at Alberton Clicks

This is a demonstration of Unilever's remorse for the TRESemmé advert after consumer goods company deemed the images offensive and racist.

"However, we could not find each other on the publishing of the names of people responsible for the racist image. Moreover, the director involved in the campaign has since left the company and the country," the party said in a statement.

The EFF said Unilever would take disciplinary action against those remaining in the company in line with its policies.

"Upon the conclusion of the internal process, Unilever will take the EFF and the country into confidence."

Unilever has since apologised and the advert has since been removed.

The party added that the consumer goods company would also donate a minimum of 10,000 sanitary pads and hand sanitiser to informal settlements identified by the EFF.

"We have agreed to hold further discussions on transformation within Unilever relating to procurement, empowerment, employment equity and localisation."

READ MORE: Apology is 'meaningless', Clicks must stock more African hair products, says Minister Ntshavheni

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Natasha Mazzone said the party was disappointed after Clicks and other retailers pulled TRESemmé products from their shelves.

"We do not believe that consumers and SMMEs, that form part of the value chain, should be punished in the process," she said in a statement.

Mazzone said it would be disappointing if Clicks submitted to the demands of the EFF.

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