Clicks dumps TRESemmé brand after ad fiasco

By Sihle Mlambo for IOL

Clicks has dumped the TRESemmé brand with immediate effect after a racially offensive advert produced by the Unilever brand sparked a social media revolt and protests at the health and beauty store this week.

The Clicks brand has also taken a decision to stay shut on Wednesday as the EFF showed no signs of slowing down its planned week-long protests across the country.

Clicks said it was immediately delisting the TRESemmé brand from its shelves with immediate effect and would be replacing it with locally-sourced haircare brands.

This comes after TRESemmé produced an advert which depicted black women’s hair as frizzy, dull, dry and damaged, while it described white hair as normal, fine and flat.

The ad, which was published on the Clicks website, sparked the EFF to descend on 445 Clicks stores around the country on Monday.

In a statement, Clicks said it would be dumping the TRESemmé brand with immediate effect and would expand its range of local haircare products.

Clicks has also committed to work with the government to develop the local beauty market.

Clicks chief executive Vikesh Ramsunder said the events of the past few days had a significant impact on their staff and customers and they had taken a decision to close all their stores on Wednesday, September 9.

“We recognise this event has had a significant impact on our people and our customers and we have taken a decision to close our stores for a day on Wednesday 9 September.”

He also said head office staff would be subjected to diversity training.

“We will use this opportunity to engage directly with all our store staff across the country, to provide counselling and support.

“We will be supported by the ICAS Employee Health and Wellness Programme.

“We are prioritising our diversity and inclusion training programme for our head office staff.

“We will be reviewing its content, extending it wider and implementing with more urgency and focus.

“We are working with the SAPS to ensure the safety of our staff, customers and members of the public, and thank them for continuing to shop with us,” said Ramsunder.

Meanwhile, Ramsunder also said a senior executive who was responsible for the publishing of the advert had resigned, while two junior staffers remained under suspension.

He said those under suspension would undergo a fair disciplinary process, which is to be overseen by an independent external chairperson.

Ramsunder said after discussions with officials from the Department of Labour and the Trade and Industry, they would partner with government in a bid to work closely with small businesses in a bid to develop the local beauty market in South Africa.


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