"Images are fast replacing words as our primary language. They define our ideas of beauty, truth and history. In our age, the photographer, not the philosopher is king." - from Richard Avedon: Darkeness and Light. This quote tells us about how the visual advertising has revolutionized the information stream in modern times. And this has Lucino Benetton taken advantage of in a rather controversial way. As the president of Benetton he and photographer Oliviero Toscani started a campaign in 1989. The campaign was offically adopted "United Colours of Benetton" and it's purpose is to eliminate all the photos of Benettons products from the advertisment and in stead show powerful images of AIDS victims, racism, war, Mafia victims, newborn babies, boatpeople and now even death row inmates. .
In the article, we got handed, was a photo of an AIDS victim in his deathbed. His name was David Kirby and you see this painfully thin creature, with his grieving family beside him, seconds before he leaves this planet. This is only one of many controversial advertising photos by United Colours of Benetton. Benetton and Toscanis way of advertising shocked the world and got heavily criticized by ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) but their philosophy has now become synonymous with Benettons corporate image. To defend these reather disturbing photos Benetton says that he is "only interested in the world and people.I have always been sympathetic to people's problems, to minority rights, birth control, disease, wars, racism, religious intolerance. I cannot offer solutions to these problems, but if I can make people more aware than that is all I offer". Benetton and Toscani claim that this is their single goal and that economical profits were never a motive. .
I think that this kind of adverts should be embrased in stead of being banned and criticized beacause they are a fresh leap from todays millions of adverts that show you materialistic things that you are supposed to be happier of by purchasing.