Obama Kisses Chavez Benetton Ad

November 17, 2011 by staff 

Obama Kisses Chavez Benetton Ad, An Italian fashion brand, which in the past has run successful advertising campaigns using photographs of a priest and a nun kissing, is causing controversy once again.

The United Colors of Benetton revealed digitally manipulated images of world leaders kissing as part of the company’s new Unhate campaign. The shocking new campaign features the modified images of U.S. President Barack Obama locking lips with Venezuela’s Hugo Ch?vez, Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu smooching Palestinian National Authority, president Mahmoud Abbas as well as others.

“We want to reaffirm the value of the brand. We are going back to the tradition of [Benetton] and will make the most of this. But we are reconciling the past with the future. At this time, when something bad is happening in the world, we want to focus people’s eyes on the positives. This campaign is about reconciliation and acceptance,” the head of the company and son of the founder, Alessandro Benetton, told The Independent newspaper.

Benetton created the Unhate Foundation as a way to contribute to the creation of a new culture of tolerance, to combat hatred and build on Benetton’s underpinning values, according to the Unhate Foundation’s website. Besides making world leaders make out, the foundation also has set up a “kiss wall” on Facebook that lets people upload their own kiss photos.

While some people are taking the campaign as a good joke, the Vatican and some newspapers are not so forgiving. The images have already been banned by The Sunday Times, International Herald Tribune and The Guardian.

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