Benetton Pulls Ad Of Pope Kissing Muslim Imam Because It’s “Unacceptable”

Yesterday, Italian clothing company United Colors of Benetton unveiled a scintillating ad campaign featuring a bunch of world leaders lip-locked in gay kisses. Grand Master Pope Benny 16 didn’t like the poster of him getting lippy with Egyptian imam Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb (above) and so The Vatican released a statement calling the image “absolutely unacceptable” and a “manipulated and exploited… publicity campaign… [that] shows a grave lack of respect for the pope, an offence to the feelings of believers.”

Ummm… perhaps Pappi Ratzi missed Benetton’s 1991 AIDS Jesus ad showing David Kirby in a pieta-like scene.

Anyway, Benetton pulled the ad and said, “[we’re] sorry that the use of the image had so hurt the sensibilities of the faithful… [the campaign] was solely to battle the culture of hate in all its forms.” We assume that includes the Catholic form.

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  • thomas mc

    ??Of course the Vatican objects. Hate is the only thing the Pedophile Church has left to offer.

  • mike128

    can we make this image available for printing from those of us who would like to post it around town ourselves? i think that would be fun.

  • Dave

    Given Benetton’s advertising experience, I guess they see some value in the publicity generated by ads like this one. Personally though, I don’t see the point in publishing a controversial advertisement if you’re going to pull it as soon as the complaints start to roll in–as if the complaints were unexpected.

  • Norman

    They are too old for this to be acceptable.

  • Christopher Banks

    Their motives for running the ad are corporate textbook: cause controversy, raise brand awareness, then withdraw to avoid ongoing damage (and appear to be ‘respectful’).

    HOWEVER, like Mike says, they’ve now created a powerful piece of pop art that we should all take, reproduce and distribute whenever we feel like. Without their logo on it, of course.

  • Philip

    Unacceptable to the RCC? Why? Oh, yeah…..They’d have been happier if the Big P were kissing a young boy. Got it.

  • Scott

    @Dave: You’re talking (well, posting) about it – and Benetton – aren’t you? ;)

  • iDavid

    Imam is much too old for the Pope and is an innaccurate portrayal of the dramatic cultural times. If you want to immortalize a poster, make it real with a 10 year old boy. You could even have Sandusky on bended knee with a football and rosary in/on his arm.

  • B

    No. 1 · thomas mc wrote, “??Of course the Vatican objects. Hate is the only thing the Pedophile Church has left to offer.”

    On the other hand Benetton may have thought better of having a fatwa put out on the company. Ask Salman Rushdie what the implications of that are.

    All the pope can really do is to deny you communion in a Catholic Church or put you on his official heretics list. Or maybe make you persona non grata at the Vatican so you won’t be able to look at some of Michaelangelo’s paintings and all the loot in that palace.

  • Huh

    Imam too hot!

  • uu

    Anyone too unconfident to satirize this pope lacks self-respect to an obscene extent.

  • Kurt

    “[the campaign] was solely to battle the culture of hate in all its forms.”

    No. The campaign is solely to sell sweaters. I never shop Benetton because I resent their commericalization of social action. Is nothing sacred to them?

  • the crustybastard

    If I was in charge of Benetton, I’d replace it with a picture of that sinister-looking sumbitch Ratzinger and the imam just glaring in opposite directions, with the caption “RE-HATEed, by order of the Vatican.”

  • Shannon1981

    I do not understand pulling the ad. Of course the Vatican objects. What did they think would happen?

    Stop being wimps, Benneton, and stand by your brand, and your pledge of hate free politics.

Comments are closed.