jueves, 17 de noviembre de 2011

Benetton "unhate" tears down pope-kissing And the impact on the world

"Unhate" was Benetton's first major campaign for more than a decade and revived its tradition of using shock tactics to sell knitwear and coloured denim. Its previous adverts have shown a nun kissing a priest, parents grieving over a man dying of Aids and a black woman breastfeeding a white baby.

The Vatican is taking legal action to prevent further distribution or publication of an image of the pope kissing a Muslim leader, after it was used as part of an advertising campaign for clothing company Benetton.

The poster, which briefly appeared in various locations around Italy before being hastily withdrawn after the Vatican's outcry, carries a picture of Benedict XVI doctored to show him kissing Mohammed Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand sheikh of al-Azhar mosque in Cairo.

There has been tension between the two religious leaders since January, when Egypt recalled its ambassador to the Holy See for what it called "unacceptable interference in its internal affairs" when the pope appeared to criticise the government for failing to protect Christian minorities.

In uncharacteristically swift fashion, and in forthright language, the Vatican condemned the picture hours after it surfaced and announced a crackdown on its wider use.

Press secretary Father Federico Lombardi said: "We cannot but express a resolute protest at the entirely unacceptable use of a manipulated image of the Holy Father, used as part of a publicity campaign which has commercial ends.

"It is a serious lack of respect for the pope, an affront to the feelings of the faithful and an evident demonstration of how, in the field of advertising, the most elemental rules of respect for others can be broken in order to attract attention by provocation."

He added that the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, was examining steps to "guarantee adequate protection for the figure of the Holy Father".
"The secretariat of state has authorised its lawyers to initiate actions, in Italy and elsewhere, to prevent the circulation, via the mass media and in other ways, of a photomontage used in a Benetton advertising campaign in which the Holy Father appears in a way considered to be harmful, not only to the dignity of the pope and the Catholic church, but also to the sensibility of believers."
Reports say al-Azhar, considered one of the highest seats of learning in the Sunni Muslim tradition, denounced the poster as  "irresponsible and absurd" although Tayeb has not directly commented.
Other mocked-up photos have President Barack Obama kissing China's Hu Jintao and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy locking lips with the German chancellor.

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