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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Johannesburg Stock Exchange  >  Clicks Group Limited    CLS   ZAE000134854

CLICKS GROUP LIMITED

(CLS)
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Unilever South Africa to pull all TRESemmé products for 10 days over 'racist' ad

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09/10/2020 | 02:30pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: South Africa's drug store chain Clicks and Unilever in hot water over prejudice against natural black hair

Unilever has agreed to pull all its TRESemmé haircare products from South African retail stores for 10 days as a show of remorse for a "racist" ad, the consumer group said in a joint statement with an opposition political party.

Some retailers had already begun removing the products over the advert by TRESemmé, posted on drugstore Clicks Group's website on Friday. It described images of African black hair as "frizzy and dull," and "dry and damaged" while a white woman's hair was referred to as "normal".

It caused an outcry on social media and sparked protests led by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in a country where unfair treatment of black hair evokes painful memories of prejudice during apartheid.

The then-government used a "pencil test" to determine someone's racial identity: a pencil was inserted into a person's hair and if it did not fall, that person was considered not white.

Even in post-apartheid South Africa, black hair is still policed in schools, where black girls with natural afros are sometimes suspended for not "wearing their hair right" or asked to straighten their hair.

The EFF met with Unilever earlier on Thursday, where it was told that the director involved in the campaign has since left the company and the country, the ultra-left-wing party said in the joint statement. Unilever confirmed the statement but did not offer any further comment.

In addition to pulling its TRESemmé products, Unilever will take necessary disciplinary action against those involved in the campaign, the statement said.

Clicks has removed the advert and apologised, as did TRESemmé South Africa.

Earlier on Thursday retailers Makro, owned by Massmart and Dis-Chem Pharmacies joined Clicks, Pick n Pay, Shoprite's Checkers and Woolworths Holdings in removing TRESemmé products from their shelves.

Clicks said on Thursday it will now use the shelf space to support more local beauty brands and increase spending on small, micro and medium enterprises. Pick n Pay said it would engage with the supplier and the other companies were not immediately available to comment on whether they would restore the products after the 10-day period.

The amount of TRESemmé revenue at risk is quite small: Euromonitor reckons the brand has a 1.7% market share in the Middle East and Africa, implying around $100 million of 2019 annual sales out of Unilever's $60 billion.

But a bigger concern for Unilever is that the scandal might affect its broader haircare business, which represents 12% of the total, or that its reputation in the African market will suffer as retailers do not want to be associated with it.

Less than three months ago, Unilever agreed to drop the word "fair" from its Fair & Lovely skin lightening products in India amid a backlash, while in 2017 it faced a social media outcry over an advert for Dove body wash which showed a black woman removing her top to reveal a white woman.

More recently in August its Knorr brand agreed to rename its popular "Zigeuner" - or gypsy - sauce as Hungarian-style paprika sauce after complaints that the name is offensive.

(Additional reporting by Martinne Geller in London; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Philippa Fletcher)

By Nqobile Dludla


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CLICKS GROUP LIMITED -4.58% 243.1 End-of-day quote.-5.26%
DIS-CHEM PHARMACIES LIMITED -0.81% 18.47 End-of-day quote.-30.30%
DOW JONES AFRICA TITANS 50 INDEX -3.09% 465.2 Delayed Quote.-10.35%
DOW JONES SOUTH AFRICA(ZAR) -3.45% 1614.99 Delayed Quote.-7.38%
PICK N PAY STORES LIMITED 0.32% 54.06 End-of-day quote.-15.39%
S&P AFRICA 40 INDEX -3.52% 153.12 Delayed Quote.-8.23%
SHOPRITE HOLDINGS LIMITED -1.83% 139.4 End-of-day quote.10.71%
UNILEVER N.V. -3.57% 49.71 Delayed Quote.-3.44%
UNILEVER PLC -3.77% 4541 Delayed Quote.7.78%
WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED -1.04% 38.98 End-of-day quote.-19.79%
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Financials
Sales 2020 34 266 M 2 092 M 2 092 M
Net income 2020 1 798 M 110 M 110 M
Net cash 2020 2 567 M 157 M 157 M
P/E ratio 2020 34,0x
Yield 2020 1,97%
Capitalization 58 441 M 3 578 M 3 567 M
EV / Sales 2020 1,63x
EV / Sales 2021 1,50x
Nbr of Employees 15 413
Free-Float 86,8%
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 6
Average target price 258,33 ZAR
Last Close Price 243,10 ZAR
Spread / Highest target 12,7%
Spread / Average Target 6,27%
Spread / Lowest Target 2,43%
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Vikesh Ramsunder Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
David Morris Nurek Independent Non-Executive Chairman
Michael Fleming Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Martin Rosen Independent Non-Executive Director
Fatima Abrahams Independent Non-Executive Director
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