[LISTEN] Swedish retail brand H&M under fire in racism controversy

Swedish clothing, retail brand H&M has come under fire and is facing accusations of racism. This follows the release of an image from their boys clothing range. The image portrays a young black boy wearing a hoody that reads ‘Coolest monkey in the jungle.’

Critics are asking how the advert made its ways through an entire marketing department without being noticed. The ad has been withdrawn and H&M has apologised.

Media specialist and CEO of Ditshego Media, Tebogo Ditshego chats to host Mandy Wiener about the implication of H&M’s ad and how it affects their popularity on the African continent.

Ditshego says that if you look at what H&M has decided to do by making singer, songwriter, and record producer, The Weeknd its ambassador, and having numerous South African celebrities as ambassadors, it’s clear to see that they are trying to appeal to the African market.

Ditshego indicates that H&M has gone against the trajectory of their own brand, by insulting black people in this way. He adds that it speaks to the calibre of employees that some organisations hire.

He says that the lack of training and interaction of people with different demographics is problematic and adds that it demonstrates the lack of transformation occurring globally.

A lot of these companies are not embracing transformation and when they do, it’s more tokenism then it is of substance.

Tebogo Ditshego, media specialist and CEO of Ditshego Media

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