United Colors of Benetton

The company is known for the provocative and original “United Colors” publicity campaign. It originated when photographer Oliviero Toscani was given carte blanche by the Benetton management. Under Toscani’s direction, ads were created that contained striking images unrelated to any actual products being sold by the company.

These graphic, billboard-sized ads included depictions of a variety of shocking subjects, one  included a bloodied, unwashed newborn baby with umbilical cord still attached, which was highly controversial, another of a collage consisting of genitals of persons of various races, and another three different hearts with “black”, “white” and “yellow” written onto them (from March 1996). (adapted from wikipedia)


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