Response from Unilever

2009-11-20 11:48

ON BEHALF of OMO washing powder, I would like to put the facts straight concerning the OMO Door2Door Challenge Competition. At the outset, I wish to reassure readers that there is absolutely no truth in the rumour that OMO is fixing prizes in favour of racial groups.

This is how the competition was planned:

The OMO Team visited 80 homes randomly in 80 towns in South Africa.

To participate in the competition a person had to have OMO powder soap in their home. They then get presented with three stained shirts from sealed plastic bags, from which they selected one. They then washed the shirt with OMO to remove the stain. Thereafter, they are allowed to open the sealed envelope inside the ­plastic bag to establish what prize they have won.

With this in mind, there is absolutely no way that OMO or the TV crew would have known which shirt contained which prize. Truth be told, the luck of the draw was absolutely random.

Prizes ranged in value from R10 000 to R100 000. Granted, there were far more R10 000 and R20?000 prizes in the draw and only two R100 000 prizes.

In the first round of the OMO Door2Door Challenge the two top prizes of R100 000 were won by black consumers. They also won four of the R50 000 prizes.

In the second round, one R100 000 prize was won by a white consumer and the other by a black contestant.

I need to add that 79% of the winners were black and demographically representative of the South African population.

Regarding the split between handwash and autowash, our records show that 67% of the autowash winners were black.

So this rumour about the allocation of prizes is just an attempt to undermine the ­success and the true intention of the competition, which is to make bursaries available to children of South Africa in order to complete their studies.

Despite the current difficult economic climate, OMO has continued to invest over R2 million in the bursary prizes through this competition.

I am proud to confirm that to date the OMO brand has provided bursaries to more than 300 children.

Thabo Mabe

Vice-president, Homecare

Unilever SA

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