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Vatican takes legal action against clothing company over Pope ad
cna ^ | November 17, 2011 | David Kerr

Posted on 11/17/2011 1:20:50 PM PST by NYer

Fr. Federico Lombardi

Vatican City, Nov 17, 2011 / 12:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican will take legal action against Italian clothing company Benetton to prevent the circulation of an ad featuring Pope Benedict XVI kissing a Muslim imam.

The move on Nov. 17 comes a day after Benetton hastily withdrew the image from a new advertising campaign following protests from both religions.  

“The Secretariat of State has authorized 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,” read the Vatican's Nov. 17 statement.

The image was used as part of a new advertising campaign by Benetton titled “UNHATE” which was launched yesterday at a press conference in Paris. It was immediately followed by the unveiling of a new poster campaign at various locations around the globe.

The posters feature various religious and political leaders kissing each other on the mouth including a mock-up of Pope Benedict XVI kissing Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, the Imam of the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo. 

A large banner bearing the image was unfurled from a bridge over the River Tiber in Rome. Within a few hours, however, the image had been withdrawn.

“We are so sorry that the use of the image of the Pope and the Imam has so offended the sensibilities of the faithful in this way,” said a spokesman for Benetton Nov. 16. “In confirmation of our feelings we have decided, with immediate effect, to withdraw this image from every publication.”

The Islamic religious authorities in Rome are also threatening to take legal action against Benetton for defamation.

“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,” said Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. Nov. 16.

Other posters include U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Hu Jintao and the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Benetton is an Italian based fashion company with around 6000 stores in 120 countries. Their main clothing brand, the United Colors of Benetton, has become known in recent decades for the shock value of their publicity stunts.

In 1991, the company ran a poster campaign featuring a young priest in black cassock about to kiss a nun. Catholic groups subsequently failed in legal attempts to have the image removed from over 1300 billboard sites across the United States.  

Other images used in recent years by Benetton have included a young man dying from AIDS, a bloodied newborn baby with uncut umbilical cord, a colorful mix of condoms, the blood stained uniform of a dead Bosnian soldier and pictures of inmates on death row.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: benedictxvi; benetton; catholicism; christianity; islam

1 posted on 11/17/2011 1:20:53 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
The Islamic religious authorities in Rome are also threatening to take legal action against Benetton for defamation.

Real reason Benetton is withdrawing ad.

2 posted on 11/17/2011 1:21:42 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
They got the free publicity they were trolling for.
3 posted on 11/17/2011 1:21:57 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (The enemy of my enemy is my candidate.<sup>®</sup>)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

“They got the free publicity they were trolling for.”

Brilliant on their depraved part. I’ve been encountering this all day and never at the expense of Benetton. Drudge with pictures, Rush and more than once on FR.


4 posted on 11/17/2011 1:29:40 PM PST by all the best (`~!)
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To: NYer

Indeed. Who, after all, fears the wrath of Christians?


5 posted on 11/17/2011 1:38:23 PM PST by eater-of-toast ("It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones." --Calvin Coolidge)
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To: NYer
The Vatican will take legal action against Italian clothing company Benetton to prevent the circulation of an ad featuring Pope Benedict XVI kissing a Muslim imam.

"This thread is no good without pictures."

6 posted on 11/17/2011 1:56:25 PM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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Day 48 Of The FReepathon
Do you Know Why?

There are loyal posters that donate every FReepathon. Some donate several times during every 'thon. But others never donate. Why?

1 My enemies haven't been zotted.
2 The owner doesn't support my candidate.
3 FR won't "upgrade" to "Like" buttons and blinky crap.
4 Someone else will donate.
5 My friend was zotted.
6 I lost my job and have no income.

Only one of those is a legitimate reason.

Support It Or Lose It


7 posted on 11/17/2011 2:02:19 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: NYer

Are they withdrawing it? Good news.

Even the WH was threatening to take action - probably the only time I have ever agreed with them. Taking photos of public figures and photoshopping them into disgusting poses for advertising purposes cannot possibly have any legal justification.


8 posted on 11/17/2011 2:03:06 PM PST by livius
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To: Alex Murphy

Go find it yourself. It’s been all over the place.


9 posted on 11/17/2011 2:03:45 PM PST by livius
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To: Alex Murphy

Bwhahaha...uhmmmm...does a picture of the Pope kissing helen thomas count?


10 posted on 11/17/2011 2:07:22 PM PST by smvoice ("What, compare Scripture with Scripture?..We'll have to double the Magisterium...")
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To: Alex Murphy

That’s disgusting.


11 posted on 11/17/2011 2:09:17 PM PST by Judith Anne (For rhe sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.)
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To: NYer

It sure would be a shame if someone made a fake Benetton ad of Mad Mo kissing a pig.

Muslims are understanding people and love a good joke.


12 posted on 11/17/2011 2:11:34 PM PST by IMR 4350
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To: smvoice
does a picture of the Pope kissing helen thomas count?

That could be seen as charity, as penance or as a miracle.

13 posted on 11/17/2011 2:18:59 PM PST by Greysard
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To: NYer

They were stupid to defame the Pope but it may be that they were foolish to mock islam...time will tell.


14 posted on 11/17/2011 2:20:33 PM PST by TalBlack ( Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: Greysard

BWHAHAHAA!!! You KNOW, you’ve got a point there. “Have I not suffered enough, Lord...”


15 posted on 11/17/2011 2:20:40 PM PST by smvoice ("What, compare Scripture with Scripture?..We'll have to double the Magisterium...")
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To: NYer
Is it a photoshopped work or not? Not quite clear on whether anyone/official has said yea or nay.
16 posted on 11/17/2011 2:26:06 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: NYer
Their main clothing brand, the United Colors of Benetton....

Soon to be the Scattered/Scorched Garments of Benetton after a few inevitable bombings by angry islamists.

17 posted on 11/17/2011 2:27:28 PM PST by edpc (Wilby 2012)
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To: smvoice
'Pregnant nun' ice cream advert banned after Catholic outcry (on eve of Pope's visit)
Banned: pregnant nun ice cream ad campaign (London)
Racy religious ice cream ads fail ASA test:
“We considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualised manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offence to some readers”....The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned the advert a month after upholding similar complaints about another Antonio Federici ad that featured a heavily pregnant woman dressed as a nun alongside the words “immaculately conceived” and “ice cream is our religion”.
Hyundai and ABC Sports mock Catholics during the World Cup
Catholics Push Hyundai To Cancel Commercial
Hyundai Removes Blasphemous World Cup Commercial
Hyundai pulls television ad after Catholic uproar
The ad begins with singing in Latin, and depicts an Argentine “church” – complete with a stained-glass window of a soccer ball -- in which the wildly popular sport is clearly what’s being worshiped...."worshipers" on their knees receiving slices of pizza rather than the communion host....a soccer ball covered with a crown of thorns

18 posted on 11/17/2011 2:28:36 PM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: count-your-change

All of these are photoshopped. They are a series of ads with different world figures doing lip-locks.

I’m not sure exactly why Benetton thought this would be a good advertising campaign, or what they were advertising, but I’d say it’s not working. Even the White House is requesting them to stop running the ads with Obama doing what appears to be french-kissing various figures.


19 posted on 11/17/2011 2:33:57 PM PST by livius
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To: NYer

Other images used in recent years by Benetton have included a young man dying from AIDS, a bloodied newborn baby with uncut umbilical cord, a colorful mix of condoms, the blood stained uniform of a dead Bosnian soldier and pictures of inmates on death row.

^^^
How nice....


20 posted on 11/17/2011 2:42:45 PM PST by Bigg Red (Maryland girl on the Cain Train)
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To: livius

Some really sick mind trying to make some sort of statement, I guess. There’s a great deal of insanity in the world.


21 posted on 11/17/2011 2:53:34 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: livius
I’m not sure exactly why Benetton thought this would be a good advertising campaign, or what they were advertising, but I’d say it’s not working.

Oh look! Catholics are talking about the Benneton brand and product line on a wholly unrelated political message board!

You can't buy market penetration like that with just money. I'd say it's working exactly as they had planned.

22 posted on 11/17/2011 3:45:03 PM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: Alex Murphy

Only if it causes people to actually purchase the brand.

If it causes people to avoid or boycott, what has the company accomplished?


23 posted on 11/17/2011 6:33:14 PM PST by clockwise
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
They got the free publicity they were trolling for.

Amen.
Benneton caters to a young (Read that as "dumb.") crowd, so they don't care who they defame or insult.

24 posted on 11/17/2011 8:00:27 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: Alex Murphy
You can't buy market penetration like that with just money

That's only free publicity, Alex, not market penetration.

I don't think anyone in my immediate family has ever bought anything from Benetton, and they've just ensured that they won't be buying anything from them for a long time to come. That's the opposite of market penetration.

25 posted on 11/18/2011 5:02:13 AM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: eater-of-toast

“Indeed. Who, after all, fears the wrath of Christians?”

Isn’t THAT the truth!!!!

Benneton has been radical leftist and VERY anti-Catholic since its beginning. And sadly MANY people, because they do NOT know history, fail to understand that one of the most important reasons why this country of the USA grew the way it did, with an unprecedented atmosphere of FREEDOM, was precisely because of the CHRISTIAN belief that freedom comes from God. It is a God-given right....not a right that is given by the state.


26 posted on 11/18/2011 5:11:34 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita

It is indeed the truth, I’m sorry to say. Christian kindness and respect for people of other faiths have largely been repaid with insults and abuse, such as forcing American Christians to pay taxes to provide NEA sponsorship for Andres Serrano’s blasphemous “Piss Christ.”

I’ve never liked Benetton, either. Even as a schoolboy in the 80s, I noticed their promotion of fey fashions for guys, and I found it repulsive. I reject the violence and domineering attitude of Islam, but we need to uphold basic moral standards that are good for people of all faiths.

As much as I hate to say it, I think Christians need to become a bit more militant and insistant. Muslims have gotten respect not through love, but fear.


27 posted on 11/21/2011 11:11:55 PM PST by eater-of-toast ("It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones." --Calvin Coolidge)
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