Clothing retailer Benetton has launched another shock-ad campaign that aims to sell more of their high-end clothes with Photoshopped images of world leaders playing tonsil hockey. "On Wednesday, the house unveiled its first major brand advertising campaign in more than a decade, titled 'Unhate,'" reports The Wall Street Journal. Above we have the United States' Obama and China's Hu Jintao smooching, but they're not the only ones featured: France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Angela Merkel, North Korea's Kim Jong-il and South Korea's Lee Myung-bak, Palestine's Mahmoud Abbas and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, Pope Benedict XVI and Grand Imam Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy, and Obama again with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez all are getting hot and heavy in the Benetton spots. So what exactly does "unhate" mean? "It means not hating," Alessandro Benetton, the company's deputy chairman, tells The Journal, "In a moment of darkness, with the financial crisis, what's going on in North African countries, in Athens, this is an attitude we can all embrace that can have positive energy." This isn't the first controversial ad campaign of Benetton's -- which in the past have included ads of mating horses, a dying AIDS patient, and a bloodied newborn baby -- but today the company could use the good vibes Unhate's intended to engender. "Since Benetton's heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, competitors such as Zara and H&M have emerged with trendier and more frequent collections, and their own store networks instead of franchises, leading to a more coherent image," notes The Journal.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.