The EFF has given TRESemmé 24-hours to respond or they will take robust action against them. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
The EFF has given TRESemmé 24-hours to respond or they will take robust action against them. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

EFF gives TRESemmé 24 hours to explain offensive hair advert...or else

By Karen Singh Time of article published Sep 9, 2020

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Durban - The Economic Freedom Fighters(EFF) have given TRESemmé 24-hours to respond to a letter calling for accountability for a “racist” hair advert posted on Clicks online platforms last week.

This follows reported protest action by the EFF at more than 400 Clicks stores countrywide.

About 92 stores were closed in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, 51 in the Western Cape and more than 200 in Gauteng and elsewhere.

The letter, dated 9 September 2020, was written by EFF secretary-general Marshall Dlamini and addressed to TRESemmé CEO, Alan Jope.

Dlamini said after they confronted Clicks regarding the commissioning of the advert, they were advised that it was commissioned by TRESemmé.

“In the interest of accountability, we are giving TRESemmé 24-hours to explain itself on this racist advert.

“Should we not receive a response within 24-hours we will take the most robust action against TRESemmé, with no further notice.”

He said the advert, which suggested that “white people’s hair is superior to black people’s hair”, caused much public anger and action was taken accordingly.

EFF ward 19 chairperson, Jackson Dlamini, who was part of the group that shutdown Clicks at the Pinecrest Centre in Pinetown earlier this week, called for action by the people responsible for the advert.

“We don’t want Clicks to just apologise, we want action. Actions speak louder than words,” he said.

Clicks closed all stores across the country today.

The health and beauty retailer said it would use the time to engage directly with store staff across the country, and provide counselling and support.

In a statement today, EFF said party leader Julius Malema would lead a delegation and meet with Clicks Group CEO Vikesh Ramsunder and his delegation at the EFF headquarters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg tomorrow.

EFF national spokesperson, Vuyani Pambo, said the meeting would discuss the advert and the protest action.

“This meeting comes at the request of Clicks in what is an attempt to reach an amicable resolution between the EFF and Clicks on matters regarding racial discrimination and reasonable steps to ensure there is accountability for the offensive advert published by clicks,” he said.

In a statement today, Clicks said all stores across South Africa will re-open for trading tomorrow

“Contingency plans are in place to ensure the safety of customers and staff,” said the retailer.

Pambo said peaceful protests by the EFF would continue as planned tomorrow.

“We encourage all members and ground forces to maintain the highest level of discipline as we continue to defend the dignity of black people,” said Pambo.

At least seven Clicks stores were damaged in protest action this week.

The Mercury reported yesterday that Clicks was unable to estimate the total damage to stores given the ongoing protest action.

The EFF on Sunday vowed to shut down Clicks stores amid anger at the haircare advert which negatively portrayed natural black hair.

Clicks and TRESemmé apologised for the advert and it was taken down.

However, the EFF said the retailer lacked remorse, and wanted those responsible to be named and dismissed for the advert.

The advert, which appeared on the Clicks website, was part of a hair-care campaign by TRESemmé and labelled natural black hair as “Damaged” and white hair as “Normal”.

Meanwhile, the Shoprite/Checkers Group has confirmed it has ended it's relationship with Unilever’s TRESemmé brand and will be removing the products from their almost 3000 stores on the African continent.

In a short statement to IOL on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Shoprite/Checkers Group said: “We can confirm that TRESemmé products have been removed from sale in our stores”.

The Mercury

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