Official Clicks Website

In the backdrop of Black Lives Matter global campaigns and brands scrapping racist brand names, protests have now erupted in South Africa against a shampoo advertisment for its racist portrayal of African hair.

This lead to a massive outrage during which seven of South African drug retailer Clicks Group's shops were damaged and others were forced to shut shop over racist advertisement on their website. 

The image on Clicks' website revealed an image of African black hair which was described as dry and damaged and on the other hand white hair was described as fine and flat. The ad was commissioned by the hair care brand TRESemmé,

Clicks protest

The political party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) called for protests where people rallied outside Clicks pharmacy stores. Video of the protestors locking stores and even damaging the products surfaced

Clicks said there were protests at 37 stores in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Gauteng and Western Cape provinces.

"White people insult us and then they apologise, they think that's the end. We are no longer going to accept any apology which is not accompanied by justice," EFF leader Julius Malema told supporters outside a closed Clicks store in Polokwane in the province of Limpopo. "Who is punished for projecting black people as ugly people?" as per reports. 

Racism must fall: Reaction on social media 

Netizens across the globe expressed their outrage over the ad, with Black women posting photos of their hair with hashtags #RacismMustFall and #BlackHairIsNormal.

"Not only is this disrespectful to black lives, it is also evidence of an absence of representation and diversity within the organisation," tweeted Zozibini Tunzi who was crowned Miss Universe in December.


"And we are talking about South Africa with a population of about 80 per cent black people... No ways."

"The negligent employees have been suspended, and we have engaged the supplier, who has now also issued an apology," Clicks Chief Executive Vikesh Ramsunder said of the advert.

Previously, Facing accusations of racial prejudice, Unilever dropped the word "fair" from its "Fair & Lovely" skin lightening products. Many makers of consumer packaged goods have reconsidered their marketing following global protests against racial injustice. Several brands have scrapped Black advertising mascots.