In a case of extreme Photoshopping (or maybe Photo”shocking” would be more appropriate), retail chain United Colors of Benetton unveiled images on Wednesday of President Obama puckering up to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Chinese leader Hu Jintao.
The clothing store’s latest attention-getting “Unhate” advertising campaign also includes shots of German chancellor Angela Merkel kissing French president Nicholas Sarkozy and Pope Benedict XVI in an embrace with Egyptian imam Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb.
In a press release, company founder Alessandro Benetton wrote, “We have decided, through this campaign, to give widespread visibility to an ideal notion of tolerance and invite the citizens of every country to reflect on how hatred arises particularly from fear of ‘the other’ and of what is unfamiliar to us.”
Benetton may be hoping to revive its brand with the edgy ads; the company has suffered from sagging sales in recent years. Although ITK is still trying to figure out what the jaw-dropping faux photos have to do with selling pants and scarves.