Benetton Yanks Pope-Imam Kiss Ad

...within an hour of Vatican complaint
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2011 6:54 AM CST
Pope-Imam Kiss Ad Yanked By Benetton
Picture taken on November 16, 2011 in Paris, shows a Benetton clothing store window covered with a poster showing the pope Benedict XVI kissing an imam on the lips.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Well, so much for that: Just hours after its debut, an ad featuring a PhotoShopped pope kissing a top Egyptian imam was yanked. The controversial ad, part of clothing company Benetton’s latest head-turning campaign, was released yesterday and quickly pounced on by the Vatican. "It shows a serious lack of respect for the pope" and is an "unacceptable" manipulation of his image, said a Vatican spokesperson in a statement. Benetton pulled the ad within an hour or so of the complaint, the AP reports.

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Benetton apologized for offending Catholics with the picture of Pope Benedict XVI and Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb in its own statement. "We have decided with immediate effect to withdraw this image from every publication," it reads. Images from the campaign were also pulled from public spaces in Milan, New York, Paris, Tel Aviv, and Rome. Click to see the rest of the pictures in the campaign. (Read more Benetton stories.)

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