Taking their cue from Clicks, more retailers have elected to pull TRESemmé products from their shelves.
The images that fuelled the #ClicksMustFall uproar were from a TRESemmé South Africa hair product marketing campaign. The advert included photos and captions in which black hair is called “dry & damaged” while white hair is deemed “normal.”
TRESemmé issued a statement apologising for the campaign.
“The campaign set out to celebrate the beauty of all hair types and the range of solutions that TRESemmé offers, but we got it wrong.”
The statement continues: “We are looking into how this happened and why it wasn’t picked up, and we will take all necessary steps to make sure it does not happen again.”
Despite the apology, Clicks announced on Tuesday that it had removed TRESemmé ranges from the shelves and would fill that gap with locally manufactured products.
This is in line with a recommendation by Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.
“If Clicks management is serious about being ‘a proudly South African corporate citizen’ and want to make amends for its ‘error’, it must be reflected by steps to place more products made by South African SMMEs for African hair on its shelves,” said Ntshavheni.
Other retailers took note of the conversations around the offensive wording in the adverts.
Pick n Pay’s official Twitter account posted: “Given the recent concern about the language used by TRESemmé their product line, we have decided to remove the products from our shelves while we engage with the supplier.”
Hi, Given the recent concern about the language used by TRESemme their product line, we have decided to remove the products from our shelves while we engage with the supplier.
— Pick n Pay (@PicknPay) September 9, 2020
Woolworths, Checkers and Shoprite followed suit.
— Sli Masikane (@Sli_Masikane) September 9, 2020
The embattled supplier was also targeted by the Economic Freedom Fighters who demand answers.
In an “extremely urgent and important notice”, the EFF wrote: “In the interest of accountability, we are giving TRESemmé 24 hours to explain itself on the racist advert.”
“Should we not receive a response within 24 hours, we will take the most robust action against TRESemmé, with no further notice.”
The 24 hours expires later today.
24 hours pic.twitter.com/IwRCR71a1P
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) September 9, 2020