The Vatican Hates on Benetton's UnHate Campaign
Nov 18, 2011 - by Lester Brathwaite
Rather expectedly, an image of the Pope making out with a Muslim leader hasn't sat well with the Vatican, which has officially condemned United Colors of Benetton's UnHate ad campaign. It's been a while since the Vatian's condemned something, no? It's nice that they're still fighting the righteous fight -- an uphill battle at this point. But the Vatican's not just stopping there; they're urging their lawyers to "take the proper measures" to stop the use of the photo everywhere, including in the media.
What exactly are the "proper measures"? That's pretty vague wording and considering the measures the Vatican has taken in the past, clarity might be appreciated. But they didn't mince words in their condemnation. "This shows a grave lack of respect for the Pope, an offence to the feelings of believers, a clear demonstration of how publicity can violate the basic rules of respect for people," said the Vatican's spokesman, a Father Federico Lombardi.
The White House has also responded to Benetton's ads, but a bit more equivocally, as their spokesman said yesterday, "The White House has a long-standing policy disapproving of the use of the presidents name and likeness for commercial purposes." So if President Obama was sucking face with Hu Jintao for artistic purposes, the White House couldn't give less of a shit.
Benetton, for its part, retains that the ads were meant " to combat the culture of hatred in all its forms." Nevertheless, the house pulled the image of the Pope going to Frenchy town with Imam al-Tayeb yesterday, apologizing for offending "the sentiments of the faithful." However, no apologies have followed for offending the sentiments of Michelle Obama. [WWD]