Color Blind: 7 Other Controversial Ads You Might Have Missed
May 7, 2012 - 8:00 pm
Ashton Kutcher "Pop Chips" Ad
Benetton "Unhate" Ad
Benetton has always used the shock treatment with their "ads for a cause" (if you're curious, look up their newborn baby ad—umbilical cords and all!) This one, featuring President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao kissing, was to support their Unhate Foundation. The campaign featured other political leaders in similar positions, and sparked lots of controversy— particularly from the Vatican.
Beyonce "L'Oreal" Ad
Beyonce is a natural when it comes to ads and endorsements, so what made this one so controversial? It was debated that L'Oreal lightened both Bey's hair and skin tone to make her look "more caucasian." The side-by-side pictures of "real-life" Beyonce versus the ad seen above really drove the point, but given the need to make models look "androgynous" so they can sell to many markets racially, who's really to blame here?
We understand the state of Georgia's stand on childhood obesity. It's a serious disease that's affecting way too many of our young. However, putting actual obese children as the face of the campaign could be seen as a little too much. Kids nowadays are cruel! Advertisements like this just make the child models an easy target for bullying. Maybe a vivid illustration would've been a better alternative.
Fashion designer Donna Karen thought she was doing Haiti justice when she shot the spring 2012 line there—where she was doing charity work as well. However, the ads, featuring Victoria Secret beauty Adriana Lima, were seen as insensitive and rude for putting the Haitian people in the dark background while Lima models expensive clothes. While the clothes should in fact be the mai focus, there's something really unsettling about the positioning and use of "color" in this ad.
We had to go there—we had to! Our girl Mary J. Blige's recent Burger King commercial came with harsh backlash after she was seen as "cooning out" by singing about fried chicken. We'll admit, it wasn't the best look for The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, but it sure served as a good laugh.
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It's no secret that the fashion world is filled with drug use and all the girls standing in the line for the bathroom. However, to actually have models sniffing lines of a cocaine-shaped dress off a table was pretty bold for fashion company Sisley.
Shot by famed shock photographer Terry Richardson, this cologne ad by Tom Ford took sexuality to another level. We weren't sure if we could even post the other ad! Think of a woman wearing just a bikini bottom, and then replace the bikini bottom with baby oil and a bottle of cologne. Yeah...