Italian fashion retailer Benetton drew flak after it repurposed two pictures of a recent migrant rescue operation for its advertising campaign. People called out the brand for being insensitive and exploiting the conditions of migrants. The two pictures, used by the fashion brand, were from the rescue operations by staff members of the Franco-German charity SOS Méditerranée.
While the first picture is of charity workers distributing life jackets to migrants sitting in an overflowing raft off the coast of Libya, the other is of the various migrant women who are standing, some with their children, at an aid station in Italy. While both pictures were uploaded on the official Twitter account of the brand, the tweet with the raft was later removed due to backlash. Check out the other picture here:
Photo by Orietta Scardino / ANSA pic.twitter.com/guFAq0976l
— Benetton (@benetton) June 17, 2018
A New York Times report stated that backlash on social media notwithstanding, the charity too, which conducted the ocean rescue operation on June 9, was upset with Benetton and even denied having any association with the brand’s advertising campaign. Unhappy with the brand’s usage of the pictures, many on social media called the move ‘opportunistic’. Here are some of the other reactions that the pictures garnered:
Labelling this picture by ur brand and then defending it as ‘being for awareness’ seems opportunistic of @benetton in times wen capitalism is threatening fabrics of humanity. ‘Benetton’ tag on the picis like those u see on designer clothes.. #StopThatTag #CapitalismOfBenetton
— Risheek Raizada (@RisheekRish) June 20, 2018
It is absolutely deplorable that you and @OToscani have used images of vulnerable people in genuine and significant distress to advertise for profit- I hope this backfires spectacularly for you.
— RachL (@Talbot_Tweets) June 20, 2018
Please look at what Benetton is doing to sell sweaters. It is showing the migrants disembarking from charity boats. The charity that owns the boat has condemned the Benetton adverts.
— Alice Onwordi (@Alicethegoodone) June 20, 2018
That is SO SO WRONG @benetton
— Alicia Rius (@AliciaRiusPhoto) June 21, 2018
— Nayla Ajaltouni (@NaylaAjaltouni) June 20, 2018
racist and capitalist Benetton. Do not buy Benetton products
— Lemon Music (@_LemonMusic_) June 21, 2018
What do you have to say about the pictures posted by Benetton? Tell us in the comments section below.