Thursday, November 17, 2011

Benetton 'unhate' campaign showing Pope Benedict kissing an imam on the mouth (and Sarko smooching with Merkel)

Clothing firm Benetton has been heavily criticised by the Vatican for using an image of Pope Benedict kissing an imam on the mouth in its latest shock advertising campaign.

The controversial image, which was hung from a bridge near the holy city early today, shows the Pope embracing Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, one of Islam's leading figures.

Other images in the campaign, which is part of the Italian firm's support for the Unhate Foundation, show various world leaders kissing on the mouth.

This includes an picture of U.S. President Barack Obama kissing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi called the unauthorised and 'manipulative' use of the pope's picture in the photo montage 'totally unacceptable' and suggested it might take legal action against the company.

'This is a grave lack of respect for the Pope, an offence against the sentiments of the faithful and a clear example of how advertising can violate elementary rules of respect for people in order to attract attention through provocation,' he said in a statement. Read More