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Beauty Chain Faces the Wrath of South Africans Over Racist Ad Campaign

Protesters have forced several stores of a South African health and beauty company to close, after it ran a hair advertisement they deemed racist. The Clicks advert had pictures of African hair labelled dry, dull and damaged, while an example of white hair was described as fine and flat. Opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) called the advert “racist” and “dehumanising”. Its leader Julius Malema called for all Clicks stores to be closed. The retailer faced a barrage of criticism on social media after it published a promotional TRESemme campaign on its website which referred to black women’s hair as damaged, dry and dull, comparing it with images of white women’s hair which was described as was fine, flat and normal. At the weekend, the EFF leadership mobilised its members to shut down Clicks stores for a week and called on the retailer to announce the names of those responsible for the advert. The party members, who often dress in red overalls as a show of solidarity with workers, held similar protests in 2018 against clothing retailer H&M after the company published a catalogue in which a black boy wore a hoodie bearing the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle”.