NATIONAL NEWS - Clicks will be delisting TRESemmé products from their shelves with immediate effects while staff responsible for publishing the racially offensive hair advert have all been suspended, the retailer said on Tuesday.
In response to public outrage after a racially offensive hair advert was published, which sparked violent protests by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at more than 400 Clicks outlets, the retailer said they were “proactively” implementing a number of measures to drive “diversity and inclusivity”.
Clicks was under fire for a controversial promotional advert by TRESemmé which described black natural hair as “dull and damaged” while white blonde hair was described as “normal”.
Clicks CEO Vikesh Ramsunder said all employees involved in publishing the offensive advert were suspended while the senior executive responsible resigned.
The suspended staff would go through fair and unbiased disciplinary hearings overseen by an independent chairperson.
Hair company TRESemmé, which were responsible for the advert used as a promotional campaign on the Clicks website, would be delisted and all products will be removed from the shelf with immediate effect.
They will be replaced with locally sourced haircare brands while Clicks will engage with all suppliers to enforce their ethical code and conduct.
Ramsunder said the retail store was in the past days involved in discussions with the departments of labour and of trade and industry to assist in developing the local beauty market.
All stores will, however, be closed on Wednesday to engage with staff and provide support and counselling, he said.
“We recognise this event has had a significant impact on our people and our customers and we have taken a decision to close our stores for a day on Wednesday 9 September. We will use this opportunity to engage directly with all our store staff across the country, to provide counselling and support. We will be supported by the ICAS Employee Health and Wellness Programme.
“We are prioritising our diversity and inclusion training programme to our head office staff. We will be reviewing its content, extending it wider and implementing with our urgency and focus. We are working with the SAPS to ensure the safety of our staff, customers and members of the public, and thank them for continuing to shop with us,” said Ramsunder.
Meanwhile, the retailer was victorious at the High Court in Pretoria when they were granted an interim order to halt the continued protests by the EFF.
The order was, however, pending a case by Clicks against the EFF, which was expected to be heard on or before 22 September.