Benetton criticised for using pictures of migrants in adverts

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By Alice Tidey
Benetton criticised for using pictures of migrants in adverts

SOS Mediterranée blasted United Colors of Benetton on Monday for using pictures of migrants being rescued at sea in its latest campaign.

The Italian brand, known for its shocking and controversial ads, released its latest campaign this week using pictures of migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, with its logo in the bottom right corner.

The pictures were first released by migrant rescue charity SOS Mediterranée and the Italian news service ANSA.

In a statement issued late on Monday, the charity said it “fully disassociates itself from this campaign which displays a picture taken while our teams were rescuing people in distress at sea on June 9."

“SOS Mediterranee does not give its consent for any commercial use of its pictures.”

"The dignity of survivors must be respected at all times. The human tragedy at stake in the Mediterranean must never be used for any commercial purposes,” it added.

United Colors of Benetton is known for its punchy campaigns condemning global social issues.

In the 1990s the brand’s campaigns included pictures of a dying AIDS patient, models dressed as a priest and a nun kissing and the bloody clothes of a Bosnian soldier, while its 2011 “Unhate” campaign featured world leaders kissing.

In 2014, the brand partnered with the UN High Commission for Refugee for the “I Belong” camping aimed at putting a stop to statelessness.

Benetton did not respond to Euronews' requests for comment.