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United Colors of Benetton Aims to 'End Violence Against Women Now' With Sexy Stoning Ad

Ready for some cause marketing gone very, very wrong?

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United Colors of Benetton

Ready for some cause marketing gone very, very wrong? In support of a United Nations campaign addressing violence against women, Italian clothing company (and ubiquitous U.S. mall store) United Colors of Benetton has staged what's essentially a sexy stoning—with a twist! Instead of pelting the "fragile beautiful woman", as Forbes describes her, with rocks, our angry band of ambiguous-ethnicity men are actually just dramatically showering her with flowers! 

The aim, according to United Colors of Benetton, is to "promote gender equality" and "remind the world that women should no longer have to put up with discomfort, suffering or a life of misery." (Discomfort?)

"We chose the flower, not the stone," Erik Ravelo, head of social engagement campaigns for Benetton Group's communications research center, told Marketing Daily. Isn't that so sweet? But, you know… most stoning victims don't get that choice. And filming a whimsical, sexualized, dreamlike version of violence against women seems a lot more like trivializing and capitalizing on their misery than making a statement or a difference. 

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