FMCG News South Africa

Unilever SA to set up new diversity committee and advisory board

Following the meeting between the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Unilever South Africa on Thursday, the multinational consumer goods company is removing TRESemmé products from local retail shelves for 10 days and is setting up a new diversity committee to oversee future advertising materials.
Unilever SA to set up new diversity committee and advisory board
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This follows public outrage and protests in response to a racially offensive TRESemmé haircare campaign that was published on the Clicks website last week.

"We were shocked to discover that we had supplied images for the Clicks website that portrayed Black hair as inferior. This was racist and we apologise unreservedly.

"We immediately began an investigation to understand what happened. At the same time, we began reviewing all the marketing campaigns and images in our South Africa portfolio to make sure they match our commitment to celebrate all beauty and promote diversity and inclusion," Unilever said in a statement.

In addition to temporarily removing TRESemmé products, Unilever will be:

• Setting up a new Diversity and Inclusion Assets Committee, representative of the company's consumers, to ensure future advertising campaigns and publicity materials reflect its values.

• Setting up an Advisory Board with internal and external experts to review how its haircare products in South Africa can offer consumers the solutions they want in positive and empowering terms.

• Working with the new Advisory Board to develop programmes to deliver immediate support to Black hair stylists and small professional salons.

• Reviewing its mandatory Diversity and Inclusion training, and accelerating training on Unconscious Bias for all staff.

"We want to reiterate our sincere apologies to all South Africans and to the offence caused to Black women in particular. We also apologise to the Clicks group. We will learn from this failing and we will accelerate our efforts to support the transformation of society, represent all communities and celebrate all beauty," Unilever said.

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