Benetton Group, Abdomen - HIV


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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User Comments
Thomas Dean
I believe that these are the types of ads that we as people need to see on a daily basis. These ads create a social understanding and awareness to what is happen all around us, no matter how badly we really want to block it out of sight and hide behind our false faces and identities. I also believe that this ad is not simply an ad of sexual orientation but is a campain that will effect everyone who sees it along the way, I have yet to see it in an actual pubication but feel very supportive of it.

Disturbing. In a fascist sort of way.