Benetton defends ad campaign’s provocative "kissing" photos despite Vatican, White House protests

Agence France-Presse (AFP)-via Interaksyon.com-reports that Italian clothing firm Benetton is pushing through with its controversial "Unhate" ad campaign despite the Vatican and the White House’s protests.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)-via Interaksyon.com-reports that Italian clothing firm Benetton is pushing through with its controversial "Unhate" ad campaign despite the Vatican and the White House’s protests.

 

The "Unhate" campaign features "purposely fake" photos of purported political nemeses kissing. The ads include Pope Benedict XVI and top Egyptian imam Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb; President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Hu Jintao; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas; and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.  There’s also another photo of Obama kissing Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez.

 

In any case, the photo featuring the Pope and the Muslim cleric was dropped after the Vatican threatened legal action. However, according to the report, the rest of the campaign remains unchanged.

 

 

The report also revealed that the White House has condemned the depiction of Obama. Spokesman Eric Schultz said they "disapproved of the use of the president’s name and face for commercial purposes."

 

Even so, the clothing line’s vice president Alessandro Benetton said the images are set to be displayed in all Benetton stores. He explained: "These are symbolic images-with an ironic touch of hope and constructive provocation-to promote some thought about the way policies, faith and ideas, even if they are completely opposite and diverse, can lead to dialogue and mediation."

 

For more on this story, read the AFP article posted on Interaksyon.com.

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