Hlokomelo Mabogale |
Unilever has come out to admit that their campaign on hair which painted Black hair as “dull and damaged” was racist and this “shocked” them.
The beauty care products conglomerate received anger from South Africans especially the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who called on its members to close all Clicks stores.
“We were shocked to discover that we had supplied images for the Clicks website that portrayed Black hair as inferior. This was racist and we apologise unreservedly.” Unilever admitted in a statement.
They further said they immediately began an investigation to understand what happened. At the same time, they began reviewing all the marketing campaigns and images in South Africa portfolio to make sure they match their commitment to celebrate all beauty and promote Diversity and Inclusion.
After their meeting with the EFF, it was agreed all retailers with TRESemmé products, should be taken off the shelves for 10 days. Another agreement between Unilever and EFF is that Unilever donates 500 000 sanitary pads and sanitizers to black women in the human settlement which the EFF will select. Another agreement is that Unilever should offer bursary to 5 black women who want to study pharmaceutical course.
“We want to reiterate our sincere apologies to all South Africans and to the offence caused to Black women in particular. We also apologise to the Clicks group. We will learn from this failing and we will accelerate our efforts to support the transformation of society, represent all communities and celebrate all beauty,” concluded Unilever.