Nov. 16 - Clothing company United Colors of Benetton unveils a controversial ad campaign featuring manipulated photographs of world leaders kissing. ROUGH CUT (No reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (No reporter narration) Fashion house United Colors of Benetton unveiled its first major brand advertising campaign in more than a decade, titled "Unhate." The images are of global leaders kissing: U.S. President Barack Obama locks lips with China's Hu Jintao and with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. A picture of the pope embracing one of Islam's leading figures, Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, the imam of the al-Azhar mosque in Egypt, was hung from a bridge near the Vatican early Wednesday (November 16). The Vatican on Wednesday protested the campaign, suggesting that the unauthorized and "manipulative" use of the pope's picture in the photo montage was "totally unacceptable" and suggested it might take legal action against the company. The large banner with the image of the pope and the imam was hung from a bridge near the Vatican on Wednesday morning (November 16) before it was removed. Benetton made a name for itself in the 1980s with the multiracial campaigns with the "United Colors of Benetton" slogan - a message that loosely tied into its innovative use of color in knitwear. A decade later, Benetton moved onto more controversial topics-AIDS, Gulf War casualties - that were more distant from the products in its stores. It culminated with a 2000 campaign that depicted death row inmates in a campaign against the death penalty.