Benetton does it again, we thought that they have decided to not aggravate anyone any more, and here they are touching on some pretty heavy religious nerves.
The Benetton ads, like ones of the past, are made with controversy in mind, this is a company that consistently produced scandalous ads and rises above the mere commercial intent of the photography, somehow we end up talking about the campaigns they run.
This current scandal is over a bunch of world leaders photo shopped ads, in which apparent rivals kiss each other on the lips, making this a more sensual kiss (however it is not a “french”, open mouth kiss), and all of the ads are labeled “un-hate”, suggesting that the people in the photos hate each other, and some heavy lip kissing will solve it.
The idea is not so bright, in my humble opinion, because it seems a little silly to suggest that people hate each other in the first place, who knows what people feel towards each other, even when talking about politicians and religious leaders?
The reaction did not take long, first it was the Vatican that sounded a very upset and annoyed voice over this, followed by everyone else, even the white house. But the real shocker here is that they are all focused primarily on the sexual innuendo that the ads suggests, with the exception of French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, all the kissing is done by men, the pope and an Egyptian Imam, Obama kissing Chinese and Venezuelan prime ministers etc.
So the real sting here, as far as the people photo shopped into kissing each other, is that it shows them as homosexuals, not the suggestion that they hate each other. In today’s world it is much more important to not seem gay in any way and to hate anyone is almost a banal reality.
In other words – of course they hate each other, but they sure ain’t gay.