Posted by: brentatent12 | September 13, 2009

Benetton Group: Unconventional Advertising

Benetton Ad

Benetton Ad

The Benetton Ads are, for the most part, very disturbing and at times revolting.  The concept behind the ads is interesting; using such stunning and horrifying images certainly does seem to get people’s attention, however, the thought alone of using social unrest and other peoples misfortune, such as the AIDS or Soldier ad is despicable and ethically immoral.  For this reason alone, I would not consider purchasing a product from Benetton.  They certainly work to develop band recognition with their ads, and perhaps achieve it.  When I think of their company, strange and out of the ordinary are things that first come to mind.  However, when I think of what they use as material for the ads, any appeal that may have been garnered by the uniqueness of their ads is immediately replaced by an overwhelming disgust of them because of their tactics.

I do not agree with Benetton’s definition of advertisement.  He says that it is to deal with institutional publicity to communicate the company’s values, however, I feel advertisement is all about promoting a product and brand—it has nothing to do with values.  Yes, if people feel that they are helping a ‘good cuase’ by purchasing a certain item, they may be more inclined to because of the psychological gratification they derive from it.  In Benetton’s case, however, they are not supporting causes, just using them to help further their agenda, which is ultimately to make money.  In this, I think that not only is Benetton’s definition incorrect, but that he is deluding himself if he thinks he’s not trying to sell more.  His approach to advertising does not work for me; it is both unethical, and turns me off to his brand instead  of helping to promote it.  On the other hand, some of the other ads he employs, such as the following one, I enjoy and think are acceptable.  It’s when things become unpleasant to look at and the company starts using a cause to its own benefit that it becomes unacceptable.

Benetton Ad II

Benetton Ad II



  1. I fully agree what you said about the use of certain photos being unethical and immoral. There is a difference between being memorable and controversial but it seems that the Benetton Group is overly willing to lump these two together. The only thing the advertisements do is to give publicity (of an angry nature) to its controversials subjects and I do consider it really significant that there is no monetary support from the brand, just the print. It seems like more of a superficial support and makes me, also, dislike the brand.

  2. horrible

    • Care to elaborate?

  3. An advertisement, by definition, is supposed to *advertise* something. What is a picture of a bloody newborn baby with umbilical cord still attached possibly supposed to advertise? Anti-abortion is the only thing that comes to my mind.

  4. Ethics have tons to do with companies. Most of the issues in the world today are derived from huge corporations with sociopathic tendencies twards society and the planet. The sooner companies (unlike this one) are put to the test and make a point to prove themselves to be productive instead of destructive, the sooner suffering on a MASSIVE scale will stop.

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