Benetton Ads for UN HATE Create Drama with the Vatican

recently created digitally altered ads as part of an “unhate” campaign featuring
political and religious leaders, including President Obama and Chinese
President Hu Jintao as well as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and
German Chancellor Angela Merkel kissing.


Well, the Vatican did not think so. After strong protests from the Vatican, the Italian clothing company Benetton has pulled an ad showing Pope Benedict XVI kissing a senior Egyptian imam, the BBC reports.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lomabardi called the ad “absolutely
unacceptable” and said it showed “a grave lack of respect for the pope
(and) an offense to the feelings of believers …”

The public-relations- savvy clothing company has frequently mounted
controversial ad campaigns, including one showing a nun kissing a priest
and a man dying of AIDS.

“We are sorry that the use of an image of the pontiff and the imam
should have offended the sensibilities of the faithful in this way,”
Benetton said in a statement.