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Benetton unveils 'UNHATE' campaign; Vatican protests use of pope's image

Pier Marco Tacca / Getty Images Contributor

Members of the public walk past a new Benetton advertising poster campaign displayed on a wall on Nov. 16, 2011 in Milan, Italy. The posters, part of a new campaign by the United Colors of Benetton entitled 'UNHATE,' created by the newly formed UNHATE Foundation, was given a worldwide launch in Paris on Nov. 16, presented by Alessandro Benetton, Executive Deputy Chairman of Benetton Group SpA.


Chinese Paramount Leader Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama

Fashion house Benetton, known for controversial advertising, may be pushing the envelope even further with the new UNHATE campaign.

The Vatican objected to the use of the pope's image today.

Update: Bottom line: Benetton withdraws ad showing pope-imam kiss


North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak

As the Wall Street Journal reports:

For the new campaign, Benetton's in-house communication agency Fabrica doctored pictures of leaders –- without their permission. Mr. Benetton says he doesn't expect them to complain because it promotes a message of peace.

While I appreciate the creativity of the effort, the use of news photographs without permission of the subjects strikes me as unethical and unfair.

What do you think?