Clicks hair ad: EFF to meet Unilever following 'robust action' threat

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
EFF supporters at Menlyn Mall in Pretoria, South Africa.
EFF supporters at Menlyn Mall in Pretoria, South Africa.
Gallo Images/Lee Warren
  • The EFF is expected to meet Unilever on Thursday, following the outrage that its hair advertisement sparked.
  • In a letter to Unilever CEO Alan Jope, the party threatened "robust action" if there was no response in 24 hours. 
  • The EFF will also meet Clicks' management on Thursday.


The EFF is expected to meet British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever on Thursday, after the party gave the company 24 hours to explain its recent TRESemmé advert, which caused outrage after it was published on Clicks' website. 

The party's secretary-general, Marshall Dlamini, wrote a letter on Wednesday stating that it sought answers. It threatened "robust action" after Clicks informed it that the advertisement was commissioned by the entity on its website.

The EFF had, since Monday, targeted Clicks stores nationwide to protest against a hair advertisement that described the hair of the two black women depicted in it as "dry and damaged" and "frizzy and dull", while the description for the white women's hair was "fine and flat" and "normal".

Clicks said 425 stores had been affected by protests across the country and that it was too early to assess the nature of the damage caused by vandalism. Some stores were bombed or set alight.

On Friday, Unilever issued an apology on its website, saying it got it wrong.

"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 doesn't happen again," its statement read.

According to the EFF, the meeting request came from Unilever and will take place at the EFF headquarters at 10:00.

The EFF delegation will be led by party leader Julius Malema and Unilever will be represented by Keegan Alicks. 

The EFF will also meet Clicks' management, led by CEO Vikesh Ramsunder, on Thursday. Ramsunder apologised on Sunday for the "insensitive and offensive" advertisement published on its website. He said he was "deeply disappointed that we allowed insensitive and offensive images to be published on our website".

In a media update on Wednesday evening, Clicks said stores across the country would reopen for trading on Thursday, with contingency plans in place to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

Various retailers, including the Shoprite group and Pick n Pay, have since removed TRESemmé products from their stores. 

Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 871 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 9924 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1154 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.