Monday, June 9, 2008


The Benetton group is primarily an Italian fashion label that produces around 160 million garments a year. The company prides itself on its style and quality and produces clothing under the brands ‘United Colors of Benetton’, ‘Sisley’, ‘Playlife’ and ‘Killer Loop’.

Italian photographer Olivero Toscani made a name for himself designing controversial advertising campaigns for Benetton from 1982 until 2000.  Toscani would use controversial photographs of sick and dying people, along with ideas of racism to evoke emotion from the consumer.  He also used his photographs for the campaign to comment on other global issues such as war, religion and capital punishment.  His photographs were bold and gripping and generally the Benetton company logo would merely be placed on the piece as a caption.

Benetton and Toscani used their platform as a means of communicating ideas to the world and were incredibly effective at it.  Toscani co-founded a the magazine ‘Colors’ that is also owned by Benetton to promote multiculturalism and world peace.  Toscani will go down as one of the most influencial men in advertising history and to quote him when asked if he believed his advertising was art: “Sometimes advertising is art, But art is always advertising.” 


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