Actions, says the old adage, speak louder than words. So when a company causes offence, and then repudiates the wrongdoing as discordant with its values, should we believe it? Do we trust the PR disclaimer, or do we judge the company by its actions? Following a public outcry over its racist advert, hair product maker TRESemmé was quick to point out that the offending plug was "not in line with the values of its brand, or [those] of Clicks", on whose website it was published.

Even to the casual observer this raises the question of how the unnamed, but presumably enlightened, values allowed the advert to be produced and published. Could there be, as often happens, a disjuncture between lofty corporate pronouncements and operational and cultural reality? A failing to walk the talk, which allows for "mistakes" to happen.

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