In 1984 The United Colours of Benetton hired the famour photographer Oliviero Toscani to head the company's advertising campaign. He had to produce international campaigns of global concern for global consumers. One of the campaigns was for anorexia and the poster below shows a graphic image of an anorexic woman. She looks as if she is starving and moving towards death. This is not the usual photo of thin women used in advertising campaigns looking beautiful to sell products.
Toscani took many photos of black and white people together. This photo below shows an angelic photo of a white girl with a black girl whose hair could be seen as styled as the devil’s horns. He is commenting on how we see black and white people differently, with the world being given a negative image of blacks.
People may be shocked by the photo of a white baby breastfeeding from a black mother as this is not often seen. He is again highlighting the separateness of blacks and whites with blacks having a bad reputation.
Toscani was interested in environmental issues and this waterbird below is covered in oil and looks very sad. It is a strong image giving out an environmental message that death is the result of our pollution. He believed that when you take an image that would be normal in a news report and use it in advertising it would shock and disgust people into taking action.
This man was to be executed and has had his photo taken by Toscani as part of a anti-death penalty campaign. Using this photo in advertising was too much for the company as American public thought that glorifying a murderer was socially inappropriate. Toscani no longer worked for Benetton after the public outcry from this campaign.