Occupational Hazards: New Ads Show World Leaders Kissing.

By: Christopher Donaldson


For Italians, kissing is unavoidable. So it should come as no surprise that the Benetton Group, Italy’s largest clothing company, has unleashed a new ad campaign designed to show the nostrils and the salty lips of famous leading men (and one woman) engaged in a little more than international diplomacy.

The ads, part of the “Unhate” campaign, would also love to make you believe that they combat intolerance and hatred with computer generated shock-therapy, or rather, political figures suspiciously committed to licking each other up.

Here, recognizing that one tiny peck cannot rewrite history, President Obama is caught kissing Hu Jintao, followed by French president Nicolas Sarkozy kissing German Chancellor Angela Merkal, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas kissing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il kissing South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, among others.

Amid stern opposition from Vatican officials, however, Benetton has decided to withdraw its ad depicting the Pope kissing Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, Imam of the Al-Azhar mosque (scandaloso!).

Check out the photos below and read more about the "Unhate" Campaign here.