Benetton ‘Unhate’ campaign comes under fire for smooching leaders

122fc1da83e19010bc283b9bbe127d6b

A United Colors of Benetton’s advertising campaign featuring world leaders locking lips has caused quite a ruckus this week.

As part of Benetton’s “Unhate” campaign, the ads voice the clothing company’s opposition to what it calls the
culture of “hate,” and are “aimed at exorcising the ‘fear of the other.”

Among the ‘smooching’ couples featured in these (Photoshopped) images are President Obama with both Chinese President Hu Jintao and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Nethanyahu with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, and the Pope with Egyptian cleric Ahmed el Tayeb.

Giant posters of the ads were posted in Milan,
Paris, Tel Aviv and New York.

Controversy came quick at hand, not least from the Vatican: The Catholic state threatened to take legal action against Benetton:

“This
[image] is a grave lack of respect for the Pope, an offense against the
sentiments of the faithful and a clear example of how advertising can
violate elementary rules of respect for people in order to attract
attention through provocation,” said Vatican spokesperson Rev Lombardi.

Benneton, not wanted to get on the Catholic Church’s bad side, was quick to release a statement of its own: “We reiterate that the meaning of this campaign is exclusively to combat the culture of hatred in all its forms. We are therefore sorry that the use of the image of the Pope and the imam has so offended the sentiments of the faithful. In corroboration of our intentions, we have decided, with immediate effect, to withdraw this image.”

It seems Benetton has struck a chord, which was no doubt part of its plan. But will the ad campaign prove effective in the way they claim to have intended? Or will this anti-hate campaign stir up more of the anger it seeks to address?


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Supporters say man accused of robbery was misidentified

A Liberian immigrant couple charged with extorting money from an elderly woman in March will be in court Thursday for a bail hearing, but supporters say it's a case of…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

Local

Could this be the end of ICE holds…

Mayor Michael Nutter directed city agencies to stop cooperating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer holds via executive order today.

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.