Benetton’s controversial Unhate advertising campaign, featuring political and religious leaders kissing each other, has been unveiled along the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv and other Israeli highways.
The billboard shows Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kissing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The high-impact Benetton ad is a part of the Italian clothing company’s UNHATE Foundation which was launched less than a fortnight ago.
The ad was unveiled in a NIS 500,000 billboard campaign in Israel. Nur Media Star Ltd in Israel prepared the billboards.
Nur Media Star said, We are proud to be a part of innovative and prominent campaigns like Benetton's campaign. The creative message placed along the country's key arteries creates extraordinary exposure and looks sexy, which every fashion client seeks.
The ad has received plenty of attention, but the installation of the most controversial images in Tel Aviv might cause an even stronger reaction.
The earlier images have already caused fury among people across the world.
The Vatican spoke out against the ad campaign and insisted that Benetton withdraw the disrespectful picture of Pope Benedict XVI kissing Imam Ahmed el-Tayyeb of Egypt.
This is a grave lack of respect for the pope, an offence against the sentiments of the faithful and a clear example of how advertising can violate elementary rules of respect for people in order to attract attention through provocation, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement.
The Italian firm withdrew the images of Pope and the Egyptian imam after the Vatican criticized it as unacceptable.
The Unhate ad campaign, launched two weeks ago, also included images of U.S. President Barack Obama kissing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and French President Nicolas Sarkozy kissing German Chancellor Angela Merkel.