Last month, Levi's president Robert Hanson observed that the jeans company's "Go Forth" advertising campaign resonated with the Arab Spring's revolutionary ethos. But now the message appears to be mirroring events a bit too closely. In light of the London riots, Levi's has postponed the U.K. release of an ad launched Tuesday that features a young man confronting riot police, among other scenes, with the words of poet Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart" in the background. The spot, which was created before unrest erupted in England, quickly drew criticism for its poor timing. As AdWeek wrote, "With people dying in London, it's a poor time to be exploiting such imagery to sell denim" (Levi's, for its part, says, it's "deeply disheartened about the unprecedented events taking place in the UK at the moment"). The riot scenes--which The Guardian says show the May Day riots in Berlin--begin about 45 seconds into the clip below.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.