Protests erupt in South Africa over controversial TRESemmé ad featuring Black hair

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at Sandton City Mall during the protests calling for the shutdown of all Clicks outlets in South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN)Two advertisements, one showing a black woman's hair labeling it "frizzy and dull," the other showing blonde hair, labeling it, "fine and flat" and "normal" set off protests at one of South Africa's largest retail pharmacies.

The content and images of the advert were provided to retailer Clicks by one of their suppliers, TRESemmé -- an American brand of hair care products, according to the company's Group CEO, Vikesh Ramsunder.
The company issued an apology in a statement released Monday and said it had removed the images, "which go against everything we believe in," adding that it does not "condone racism."
    He added that all employees involved in publishing the offensive advertisement have been suspended.
    EFF Members stop public from entering a Clicks store in the CBD during the national shutdown of all Clicks outlets on September 07, 2020 in Durban, South Africa.
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    RESemmé South Africa also issued an apology, saying: "We are very sorry that images used in a TRESemmé South Africa marketing campaign on the Clicks website promoted racist stereotypes about hair. The campaign set out to celebrate the beauty of all hair types and the range of solutions that TRESemmé offers, but we got it wrong."
    In the meantime, Clicks has said it will remove all TRESemmé products from its shelf and replace it with locally sourced hair care brands, of which it has an extensive range already.
    All Click stores will also close for a day on Wednesday 9 September, the Group CEO said.
    "We will use this opportunity to engage directly with all our store staff across the country, to provide counseling and support," Ramsunder said in the statement.
    However, the removal of the advertisements from Clicks website, apology and store closures has done little to quell the protests.
    The protests, still ongoing, are led by the opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which has used social media to denounce the adverts as "racist" and "dehumanizing."
    South African politician, Julius Malema formed the EFF in 2013 and has been at the forefront of the protests against Clicks, calling on all its stores to be permanently closed.
    In a statement, he said the advert insinuated that black people and their identities exist as inferior to that of white people.
    "It is an assertion that white standards of beauty are to be aspired to and features of black represent damage, decay, and abnormality," the statement said.
    In videos shared on social media, protesters dressed in red were seen throwing shelves in one of the Clicks stores.
    Party leader Malema called for a full week of protests in a Twitter post, urging "fellow fighters and ground forces; ATTACK."
    On Tuesday, the retail chain won an interim court interdict to stop the EFF from "intimidating and threatening" its employees.