Benetton Makes The Vatican Nuts Over Campaign Ad, Pulls Pope Image
"This shows a grave lack of respect for the Pope, an offence to the feelings of believers, a clear demonstration of how publicity can violate the basic rules of respect for people," said Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s spokesman. He said the Holy See was considering taking legal action against the fashion company. The image, which is guaranteed to offend Catholics around the world, briefly appeared on a banner which was draped over the side of a Renaissance stone bridge near the Vatican, in the centre of Rome. Hanging the banner was part of a series of "guerilla actions", the company said, which included the unveiling in Paris of an image of Nicholas Sarkozy smooching Angela Merkel and the unfurling of a banner outside Milan Cathedral depicting Barack Obama kissing his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao.Among those complaining yesterday was the Vatican-owned NOM, whose blogger Thomas Peters took to Twitter and his Catholic Vote blog to express outrage.