United Colours Of Benetton Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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transmitted only between gay men and drug users. Benetton attempted to make the problem seem more personal, hoping that if people realised that they too were susceptible to the AIDS virus, they might be more likely to help the problem. Benetton s condom advertisements, unlike the other AIDS advertisements, provide a solution for the problem shown. Benetton knew tat condoms are an effective way to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus, which is commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse. These advertisements are an attempt to bring an idea to light that people will be more likely to use condoms. Before we judge Benetton for exploiting victims and showing images that we would prefer not to see, we must first realise that these advertisements were not only shown in the U.S.A

and the UK. In other countries, AIDS was, and still is, a much worse problem. In third world countries especially, little is known about the AIDS disease. We cannot condemn Benetton for telling us something we already know, but instead embrace what they are saying in hopes that it will help other people. No one can dispute that racism still exists throughout the entire world. Even today, well after the civil rights movement, cultural bias, hatred and discrimination are major problems and issues for debate. Benetton uses its advertisements in an attempt to raise our awareness of a problem that would generally not be discussed in advertising. The main theme that spreads through all of Benetton s race awareness advertisements is that underneath our skin we are all the same. One

advertisement is of three hearts with the words white, black and yellow written across them. Posters showing this advertisement have been condemned for causing widespread and serious offence. It has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority, who have asked Benetton to take the posters down world-wide. I think that this advertisement, although it has a good message, may have been inappropriate because of the images of what could be human hearts. Benetton has never even told the public whether or not human hearts were used. Another advertisement is that of a black horse mounting a white horse. Poster critics who claim that it is obscene also have rejected this advertisement. Although the Advertising Standards Authority have received many complaints and requests to ban

the advertisement, Benetton did not want to comply, defending the advertisement by saying What is natural is never vulgar. Another advertisement is that of a white infant suckling at a black woman s breast. Although this advertisement has won artistic awards in Europe, it was considered too controversial for publication in the U.S.A. Many believed that given the history of slavery in the U.S.A, people would see the black woman not as the child s mother but as a nanny or nursemaid whose job it was to take care of the white child. International corporations such as Benetton must be careful to take into consideration the historical context of each country in which they choose to place the advertisement. Capital punishment has also become a very controversial issue in our society.

Many feel that death is the only suitable form of justice for certain crimes while others argue that any form of capital punishment is inhumane and unconstitutional. Benetton has chosen this as the subject of one of its advertising campaigns. Two years were spent by Toscani, interviewing and photographing prisoners in various U.S penitentiaries. In the end, a 96 page report was made including the photos and excerpts from the interviews with three dozen inmates. The interviews have been called pitiful , chilling , and in the case of Leroy Orange, shocking . In the interview with Orange, he claims that he was beaten and tortured into giving a police confession. Although one involved police officer was fired, Orange has never been retried. Others have compared interviews to those of

Playboy Playmates, talking about their turn ons and turn offs and asking questions such as, Do you dream at night? and, Can you remember a time when you didn t have peace in your heart? This insert may provide interesting information about the inmates and the faults and/or benefits of capital punishment but the commonly seen print advertisements contain only small photographs of the inmates and provide little or no information to the viewer. There is no discussion of the trial or crime. The viewer is left with no clear impression of Benetton s view on the subject of capital punishment and nothing with which to evaluate guilt, innocence, or remorse of the condemned. Perhaps, Benetton is not attempting to resolve any of the issues but instead simply showing the humanity of those