The EFF is threatening a national shutdown of Clicks stores following a “racist” advert about hair.
The health and beauty chain took a lot of flak on Friday for its negative representation of frizzy and bushy women’s hair on their website.
In a TRESemmé marketing campaign, they posted pictures of afro hair and labelled it “dry, dull and damaged”, compared with straight blonde hair, which was labelled “normal” and “fine and flat”.
The company was dragged on Twitter, with local model Tshepiso Ralehlathe tweeting: “I’m so tired of brands using our Blackness as a publicity stunt or advertising tool. I’m so tired of educating corporates about Black hair, Black skin, Black lives. This is blatant racism @Clicks_SA.”
Clicks has since issued several apologies on its social media platforms and website: “We have removed the images as they do not reflect our stance on diversity and inclusivity, nor are they reflective of our efforts to celebrate natural hair.
“The images were supplied to us by Tresemmé as part of their marketing and advertising campaign and we have failed to apply appropriate quality control measures.
“We have made a mistake and sincerely apologize for letting you down.
“We know we need to do better and commit to ensuring our content better reflects this value.”
Yesterday the EFF issued a statement saying leaders would be staging protests at six stores in various provinces, with leader Julius Malema deployed in Limpopo, and Cape Town’s Goodwood Shopping Centre Clicks being targeted – at 9am today.
Malema tweeted: “@Clicks_SA see you tomorrow. Fellow fighters and ground forces; ATTACK!!!”
The Daily Voice asked Clicks to respond to the EFF’s threat of a shutdown of its branches, but was directed to its website, saying that is all they have to say for now.
Unilever, the company that owns TRESemmé, has also apologised for the advert on its website.
“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,” it said.
“We’re 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.”
But the EFF is not happy with either apology and wants heads to roll at the companies.
EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo says: “We had written to Clicks with direct demands in order to remedy their racist act and given them a 24-hour deadline to respond.”
He says Clicks sent them the same unsatisfactory response.
“Their response to our letter was nothing short of condescending and revealed a lack of remorse for their attack on the dignity of black people.
“If Clicks does not close, our members in all branches will shut down all 880 Clicks outlets from Monday to Friday, 11 September,” said Pambo.
Last year, the EFF shut down H&M clothing stores after they featured a black boy wearing a hoodie with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle”.
Health and beauty retailer Clicks on Sunday advised that it would be trading as normal on Monday, September 7, despite the call by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for strike action and closure of stores.
“Clicks provides a much-needed healthcare service to South Africans and stores will not be closed. Contingency plans have been put in place to ensure the safety of both customers and staff.
“Clicks has taken full accountability and apologised unreservedly for the advertisement published on its website and has taken immediate action to address all concerns,” the retailer said in a statement.