United Colors of Grotesqueness

Benetton, the notorious Italian clothier, is back at it again with yet another controversial ad campaign.

In their latest publicity stunt, the company released a series of print ads showing famous political leaders from around the world kissing each other.

The images were, of course, photoshopped. But still. Ew.

Sarkozy and Merkel, friends at last

One of the photos, which features the pope kissing Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, a Muslim leader in Egypt. The Vatican has since announced that it will take legal action against the company, although Benetton did stop running the particular ad after receiving a flood of complaints.

None of these ads have anything remotely to do with clothing, which just shows that Benetton is doing everything it can to drum up some much-needed business. Sales from the clothing manufacturer have decreased significantly in the past few years, according to The Wall Street Journal.

But will the campaign’s message of peace resonate with consumers? Or will they just be totally grossed out? I’m with the latter group.

Click here to see the rest of the ads.

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