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Benetton Group – Unhate Campaign

The campaign features a range of world leaders kissing, including the likes of Obama, Merkel and Sarkozy. According to the company behind the ad, the theme focuses on the kiss as it’s a universal symbol of love. The ad ran across many countries on large billboards during its 2011 launch which as you can imagine caused a lot of raised eyebrows. This wasn’t the first time the group had launched controversial ads before, in fact, their previous ads showed a priest and nun kissing. Controversy for this ad campaign arose in many different ways. The first was the use of the world leaders without their consent. In fact, one of the ads features Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam which was quickly removed after being condemned by the Vatican.

Lung Cancer Alliance USA 

recently unveiled a series of controversial service announcements proclaiming that just about everybody “deserves to die”, if they have lung cancer. Intended to challenge those who believe lung cancer victims deserve to suffer because they’ve brought their illness upon themselves, LCA and Laughlin Constable created a series of advertisements that tackle the bias and stigma attached to those battling this atrocious disease. Hit the thumbs for a look at these disputable ads used by Lung Cancer Alliance USA. And, peep this crazy video found below.

British ice cream manufacturer Antonio Federici

hit the news headlines again with a new print advertising campaign banned because of religious sensitivities. The 2010 campaign for Gelato Italiano shows a heavily pregnant woman dressed as a nun standing in a church holding a tub of ice cream, with the text, “Immaculately Conceived … ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION”.

In another ad from the campaign two male priests are poised for a kiss with ice cream, with the text, “We believe in salivation”.

UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, Antonio Federici said the idea of “conception” represented the development of their ice cream. They said their decision to use religious imagery stemmed from their strong feelings towards their product (they cited the text “ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION”) and also from their wish to comment on and question, using satire and gentle humour, the relevance and hypocrisy of religion and the attitudes of the church to social issues. They believed the small number of complaints the ASA had received represented a very small proportion of the readership of the publications. They did not believe offence had been so deeply felt as to affect their right, as marketers, to free expression and that offence caused to a small minority should not affect the ability of the wider public to see their ad. They believed that, as a form of art and self-expression, advertising should be challenging and often iconoclastic.

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