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Benetton - Backside - HIV

Company: Benetton Group
    View Company Scorecard | Contact Company
Brand: Benetton
Ad Title: Backside - HIV
Business Category: Fashion/Apparel
Media Outlets: Print
Country: Italy
Region: North America, Europe
Agency: Benetton Group in-house
Year: 1995
Target: Mainstream
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In a controversial trend that may have started among gay men in Seattle, Benetton depicts a muscleman's tattoos with the words "HIV positive."

By far the most controversial ad from an already controversial advertiser, another ad depicting AIDS activist David Kirby surrounded by his family on his death bed was published in LIFE magazine, and brought strong reactions worldwide.

Benetton says Kirby's parents gave "permission and encouragement" to create the ad.

According to Benetton, "In some countries such as Paraguay this was the very first campaign to talk about AIDS, and in many countries it was the first campaign to go beyond purely preventative measures and touch upon subjects such as solidarity with AIDS patients."

The ad was part of a sustained campaign about AIDS and safer sex that began in 1991 with a colorful picture of condoms and the distribution of condoms in Benetton stores.

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