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Benetton Group

Benetton Group

United Colors of Benetton in Parma, Italy

United Colors of Benetton in Parma, Italy

United Colors of Benetton in Prague, Czech Republic

United Colors of Benetton in Prague, Czech Republic

United Colors of Benetton in Belgrade, Serbia

United Colors of Benetton in Belgrade, Serbia

Benetton Group S.r.l. is a global fashion brand based in Ponzano Veneto, Italy in 1965. Benetton Group has a network of about 5,000 stores in the main international markets.[1]

In 1965, the Benettons opened their first store in Belluno[2] and three years after in Paris. The company's core business consists of clothing brands United Colors of Benetton[3] and Sisley.[4] The Group has a network of about 5,000 stores around the world.[1]

Benetton Group
Società a responsabilità limitata
Founded1965 (1965)in Ponzano Veneto, Italy
FounderLuciano Benetton
Carlo Benetton
Giuliana Benetton
Ponzano Veneto
Area served
Key people
  • Luciano Benetton (Executive Chairman)
  • Tommaso Brusò (Chief Operating Officer)
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Accessories
Number of employees
7,714 (2015)
Websitewww.benettongroup.com [38]


Benetton is known for its sports sponsorships, and for its "United Colors" advertising campaign. In 1982, Benetton hired Oliviero Toscani as creative director, which led to a change in advertising focus towards raising awareness for various issues worldwide.[5] In 1984, Toscani photographed the first multiracial ad for the brand.[2]

In 1989, Toscani refocused Benetton's advertising strategy under the "United Colors of Benetton" campaign. The campaign's graphic, billboard-sized ads depicted a variety of shocking subjects, including the deathbed scene of a man (AIDS activist David Kirby) dying from AIDS.[6] Another ad featured a bloodied, unwashed newborn baby with umbilical cord still attached. The newborn ad prompted roughly 650 complaints to the British Advertising Standards Authority, which noted in its 1991 annual report that the Benetton baby ad "attracted more complaints than we have ever previously known."[7]

In 2000, Benetton was included in the reference publication Guinness World Records for the "Most Controversial Campaign."[8]

2011: Unhate campaign

In November 2011, Benetton created the UNHATE Foundation, launching a worldwide communication campaign described as an invitation to leaders and citizens of the world to combat the "culture of hatred."[9] Benetton claimed the campaign was created to serve as its corporate social responsibility strategy.[10] The UNHATE poster series uses altered images of political and religious leaders, such as then-President of the United States Barack Obama and Hugo Chávez, then President of Venezuela, kissing each other.[11][12] Following Vatican protests, Benetton removed an ad purportedly showing Pope Benedict XVI kissing Ahmed Mohamed el Tayeb, the imam of Egypt's Al Azhar mosque.[13][14][15]

Benetton won the Press Grand Prix at the 2012 Cannes Ad festival for its Unhate campaign.[16][17]

2017: #UnitedByPurpose campaign

In November 2017, Benetton launched a campaign in collaboration with Devbhumi, a company owned by rural women from India's remote Uttarakhand region. The initiative claims to empower more than 6,000 rural women artisans in India.[18][19]

Sport and sponsorship

Benetton Group entered Formula One as a sponsor of Tyrrell in 1983, then Alfa Romeo in 1984; this arrangement was extended to both Alfa and Toleman in 1985. Benetton Formula Ltd. was formed at the end of 1985 when the Toleman and Spirit teams were sold to the Benetton family. The team saw its greatest success under Flavio Briatore, who managed the team from 1990 to 1997. Michael Schumacher won his first Drivers' Championships with the team in 1994 and 1995, and the team won their only Constructors' title in 1995. From 1996, the team raced under an Italian licence although it continued to be based, like Toleman, in Oxfordshire in England. The team was bought by Renault for US$120 million in 2000 and was rebranded Renault F1 in 2002.

In 1979, Benetton first sponsored their (then amateur) local rugby team, A.S. Rugby Treviso. Benetton Rugby has since become a major force in Italian rugby, with 11 league titles and supplying many players to the national team.[20] Benetton Group has also sponsored Treviso Basket (1982–2012) and Sisley Volley (1987–2012).


Benetton has faced criticism from Mapuche organizations over its purchase of traditional Mapuche lands in Patagonia.[21] The Curiñanco-Nahuelquir family was evicted from their land in 2002 following Benetton's claim to it, but the land was restored in 2007.[22] The company have published a position statement regarding the Mapuche in Patagonia.[23]

Benetton aroused suspicion when they considered using RFID tracking chips on clothes to monitor inventory. A boycott site alleges the tracking chips "can be read from a distance and used to monitor the people wearing them."[24] Issues of consumer privacy were raised and the plan was shelved. Benetton's position on RFID technology is also available on their website.[25]

PETA launched a boycott campaign against Benetton for buying wool from farmers who practiced mulesing. Benetton has since agreed to buy nonmulesed wool and has further urged the wool industry to adopt the PETA and Australian Wool Growers Association agreement to end mulesing.[26] Benetton's position statement on the mulesing controversy is available on their website.[27]

Building collapse at Savar

On 24 April 2013, the eight-storey Rana Plaza commercial building collapsed outside Dhaka that housed one of the factories where Benetton makes its clothing.[28] At least 1,130 people died.[29] Benetton first denied reports linking production of their clothing at the factory, but clothes and documents linked to Benetton were discovered at the disaster site.[30][31][32] Of the 29 brands identified as having sourced products from the Rana Plaza factories, only nine attended meetings held in November 2013 to agree a proposal on compensation to the victims. Several companies refused to sign including Walmart, Carrefour, Bonmarché, Mango, Auchan and Kik. The agreement was signed by Primark, Loblaw, Bonmarche and El Corte Ingles.[33] A year after the collapse, Benetton faced international protests after failing to pay any compensation to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund.[34][35] Protests included shutting down Benetton's flagship Oxford Street store in London.[36]

On April 2015, Benetton Group announced that it has doubled compensation for Rana Plaza victims recommended by independent assessors (PWC AND WRAP) and applied the principles of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety to global suppliers. Benetton's engagement for Bangladesh is available on their website.[37]

See also

  • Benetton family

  • Colors (magazine)


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Citation Linkwww.benettongroup.comBenetton Group (2011-11-16). "UNHATE worldwide campaign". Benetton Group. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
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Citation Linkwww.benettongroup.com"The UNHATE project". Benetton Group. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
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Citation Linkwww.cnbc.comWells, Jane (2011-11-16). "Why Is President Obama Kissing Hugo Chavez?". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
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Citation Linktimesofindia.indiatimes.comRajghatta, Chidanand (2011-11-16). "Benetton jolts world with 'unhate' advertisement showing world leaders in liplock". The Times of India. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
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Citation Linkwww.benettongroup.com"Press Note". Benettongroup.com. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
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Citation Linkwww.theguardian.comButt, Riazat (2011-11-17). "Benetton tears down pope-kissing ads after Vatican legal threat". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
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Citation Linkwww.cbc.caThe Associated Press (2011-11-16). "Benetton pulls ad with Pope kissing imam". CBC. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
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Citation Linkadage.comPatel, Kunur (2012-06-20). "Controversial Benetton Ad Nabs Press Grand Prix". AdAge. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
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Citation Linkwww.huffingtonpost.com"Benetton 'Unhate' Campaign, Featuring World Leaders Kissing, Wins Cannes Ad Festival Award". Huffington Post. 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
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Citation Linkeconomictimes.indiatimes.com"Fashion brand aims to empower over 6,000 women weavers". Archived from the original on 2017-11-14.
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Citation Linkin.fashionnetwork.comMaverick, Martins (2017-11-14). "Benetton collaborates with Devbhumi for special scarves collection". FashionNetwork.com. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
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Citation Linkwww.benettonrugby.it"Benetton Rugby - Storia" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
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