The Unhate Foundation


Update Nov. 16, 4:10 p.m.: The Benetton has dropped the image of the Pope kissing an Imam from the campaign after complaints.
Benetton returns to its controversial marketing roots with a new campaign that features President Obama and other world leaders engaging in a kiss. In two separate ads, Obama is seen kissing Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, and Chinese President Hu Jintao.


Obama kisses Chavez in new Benetton ad - Arts Post - The Washington Post (external - login to view)

The Foundation | Unhate Foundation (external - login to view)
W.H. dings Benetton

The White House isn’t feeling very kissy toward Benetton, after the publicity-loving clothing company photo-shopped President Obama (external - login to view) into an ad smooching Chinese (external - login to view) leader Hu Jintao (external - login to view) and Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez (external - login to view).

"The White House has a long-standing policy disapproving of the use of the president's name and likeness for commercial purposes," deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said in a statement.

The ads feature manipulated images of Obama kissing Chavez and Hu — and throws in pictures of Pope Benedict XVI canoodling with a top Egyptian imam — the point being international solidarity and love, as befits the brands “United Colors” campaign.

The Vatican has threatened to sue, and Benetton quickly yanked the ad, which has already generated lots of buzz and millions in free advertising (like this post, for instance).

Another poster, unveiled Wednesday, showed French President Nicolas Sarkozy getting friendly with Germany’s Angela Merkel, which has actually happened, albeit less amorously.

Yet another portrayed Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu kissing Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, which has not happened.

Schultz didn’t say if the administration planned to take action.

W.H. dings Benetton | POLITICO 44 (external - login to view)
Kathie Bondar
Posting false manipulated images of anybody is stabbing him in the back. If that is the kind of guy you are, I don't want to know you, get lost, backstabber.

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