Unilever stops advertising in South Africa amid looting

British giant Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer companies, has suspended advertising campaigns in South Africa amid widespread looting and unrest.

“We can confirm that we have suspended all traditional and digital advertising until further notice,” a spokesperson for Unilever told Fin24 on Tuesday evening.

Unilever owns brands like Surf, Joko, Lipton, Vaseline, Omo, Handy Andy, Knorr, Robertson’s Spices and Ola ice cream. It opened its first South African factory in 1911 and currently operates six production plants in Durban and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as in Boksburg and Midrand in Gauteng.

While Unilever has not confirmed the reason for its advertising suspension, hundreds of stores selling Unilever products were looted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Nata after riots broke out over the weekend. It is not clear whether its own factories were also targeted.

In September of last year, Unilever was forced to apologize after her brand TRESemmé was involved in a marketing campaign on the Clicks site that promoted racist hair stereotypes. Clicks stores were forced to close as a result of the fury.

This week, Clicks has closed all its stores in KwaZulu-Natal after the looting of stores.

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