I picked this up from Catholic Vote and share it now with you. I think the suggestions below are good. Remember that the Christmas “buying” season is coming up. Make a dent.
I won’t post the disgusting photo in question.
International clothing retailer Benetton pulled a provocative ad featuring Pope Benedict XVI kissing a Muslim cleric on Wednesday after the Vatican threatened legal action to protect the pope’s image.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi had called the Benetton campaign a “totally unacceptable” show of “grave disrespect.”
The image of Benedict kissing Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed El-Tayeb, imam of the renowned al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, was pulled almost immediately after the Vatican protested.
“We reiterate that the meaning of this campaign is exclusively to combat the culture of hatred in all its forms,” a Benetton Group spokesman said in an official statement. [USA Today]
That’s a start, but I want you to join me in demanding Benetton go farther. Why? Because Benetton has a long track record of doing things like this (a previous ad of theirs depicted a priest kissing a nun) and second, because Benetton is going to make a lot of money off of this advertising campaign. It’s designed to be offensive and will attract sales among people who endorse mocking the pope.
Here’s my simple plan: let’s all get together and say “bye, bye” to buying Benetton until they make a donation to the papal foundation.
Benetton claims its “UNHATE” campaign is dedicated to “the creation of a new culture of tolerance.” Fine. The Papal Foundation, the pope and the Catholic Church are at the forefront of creating a peaceful and loving culture worldwide. Instead of trying to make money by offending those who actually promote love and peace, Benetton should help them out for a change by donating a chunk of change to them.
Here’s three things you can do now to join the “bye bye, Benetton” movement:
1. Join facebook.com/boycottbenetton
2. Retweet this status announcing you’re joining the boycott
3. Tell your friends.
In the meantime, there’s a Benetton store a few miles from where I live. I won’t be darkening their door again until I see Benetton change course.
Let’s turn this offensive example of mocking the pope into positive support for the pope’s mission!
UPDATE 1: An observant reader notes that Benetton still references the pope and this photo in their online press materials.