British giant Unilever, one of the world’s biggest consumer companies, has suspended its advertising campaigns in South Africa amid widespread looting and unrest.
“We can confirm that we have paused all traditional and digital advertising until further notice,” a Unilever spokesperson 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 facilities in Durban and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Boksburg and Midrand in Gauteng.
While Unilever did not confirm the reason for the suspension of its advertising, hundreds of stores that sell Unilever products have been looted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal after riots erupted over the weekend. It’s not clear whether its own factories have also been targeted.