Benetton puts far too much trust in nature

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Regarding the new controversy over Benetton’s advertising campaigns “Benetton risks fresh outrage” (MW September 13).

Why does it insist on living on the edge? I’ll tell you why. Since the Eighties, it has gained much free publicity, whether good or bad, through its agency. Advertising can be a costly business, and the interest Benetton provokes has got to be admired.

But surely the results must be effective? As a mother, I did not find the “new-born baby” ad offensive, but I couldn’t quite relate to the thinking behind it. Perhaps, as the company itself says “what is natural is never vulgar” – true to a large extent but I wonder what its reaction would be if its offices were overrun with couples having sex – after all, it’s “natural” isn’t it?

Benetton runs a large range of childrenswear, and as such should be targeting the young mother as a key customer.

May I suggest that as well as handing over a receipt and carrier bag with each purchase, it also gives a detailed instruction on “how to handle youngsters’ difficult questions without lying?”

For example, “Mummy, what’s that horse doing with the other horse?”. Would it suggest I respond with “Mounting it angel, don’t worry it’s only natural”. Come on, surely its marketing department can think of a better way to catch consumers’ attention.

Frances Jordan

Marketing secretary



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