Clicks apology just ‘not good enough’

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Johanesburg - Troubled retailer Clicks South Africa this week removed all TRESemmé products from its stores following accusations of racism stemming from a hair advertisement.

Minster of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni rejected the retailer’s apology for the advert as an inadequate response to allegations of promoting racism.

The TRESemmé advert  on the Clicks website portrayed the natural hair of black people as "dry, damaged and frizzy" while labeling white women's hair as "normal".

Minister Khumbudzo urged Clicks to remove all TRESemmé products from its shelves as an expression of its disassociation with suppliers who promote racist and insensitive marketing.

"... if Clicks are serious about being a good corporate in South Africa, they must contribute to that inclusive economy and say how many of their products are made by black women and how many of their products are suitable for black hair," said the minister.

The opposition EFF has engaged in nationwide protests over the advert, demanding that all Clicks shops be closed for a week.

Several clicks shops were vandalised during the protests launched by EFF leader Mr Julius Malema.

On Wednesday, Clicks group non-executive director Nonkululeko Gobodo said she raised a red flag with management a few months ago over the way it was communicating with black customers.

“It’s very strange actually. In the last strategic session, this is what I was asking. ‘How are you talking to your black customers?’ And there was even a plan and all of that. And now a few months later, it is proven that the plan is not working. We do have to insist on inclusivity, we want an inclusive economy,” she said.

The South Africa Human Rights Commission said it had launched an investigation into the matter.

“The commission remains committed to understanding measures taken by Clicks to guard against such adverts in the future and other accountability and sensitivity measures the company intends to take going forward,” it said.

On Tuesday, Clicks announced that a senior executive responsible for the racist advert had resigned while other involved employees were suspended.

 

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