TRESemmé products were recently paused from selling by many large retailers after protests arouse over a controversial ad featuring Black hair by TRESemmé.
Large retailers like Pick N Pay, Dischem, removed TRESemmé products from their shelves, Even, Clicks, the retailer which published the ad in original place also removed the product from its shelf.
The protest arose after two advertisements, one showing black woman’s hair labelling it as “frizzy and dull”, the other ad showing white-blonde hair, labelling it as fine and flat and normal.
According to the company’s group CEO Vikesh Ramsunder, the content and images of the advertisement were provided by TRESemmé. TRESemmé is an American brand of hair care products.
The opposition party EFF led protests and used social media to denounce the ad as racist and dehumanizing.
The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg says critics found the advert particularly insensitive because of the historic issues around African hair in South Africa, reported BBC.
Under the white-minority rule, the state used the so-called “pencil test” to decide who was black or mixed-race – depending on how easily the pencil moved through the hair, reported BBC.
Unilever, the multinational consumer goods company, admitted the ad promoted racist stereotypes.
“Unilever expresses its remorse to all South Africans, black women in particular, for the racist TRESemmé SA image,” it added.
It also said that all TRESemmé SA products will be withdrawn by Unilever from all retail stores for ten days. It said so as a demonstration of its remorse for the image reflecting offence and racism.
Clicks will withdraw all TRESemmé SA products from its stores and replace them with locally sourced hair care brands, it said in a joint statement with the EFF on Thursday.
As per videos shared on social media, protestors who were in red dress were seen throwing shelves in one of the stores of Clicks.