Zara Expresses Regret Over Gaza Images Misunderstanding
Fashion giant Zara has issued an apology and withdrawn images from its Atelier line campaign after facing criticism for using photos that were deemed reminiscent of the Israel-Gaza war. The advertising, titled “The Jacket,” featured a model against a backdrop of damaged statues and cracked stones, prompting social media backlash and complaints to the UK’s advertising watchdog.
The controversy unfolded as some social media users called for a boycott of Zara, claiming the images resembled scenes from Gaza. Zara, however, clarified that the campaign showcased “unfinished sculptures in a sculptor’s studio” and was intended to highlight craftmade garments in an artistic context.
Despite Zara’s explanation, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 110 complaints, with critics arguing that the imagery referenced the Israel-Hamas conflict and was offensive. The ASA is currently reviewing the complaints.
Zara expressed regret over the misunderstanding, stating, “Unfortunately, some customers felt offended by these images, which have now been removed, and saw in them something far from what was intended when they were created. Zara regrets that misunderstanding and we reaffirm our deep respect towards everyone.”
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This incident follows a similar controversy involving M&S in November, where the retailer apologized for a Christmas advert featuring party hats in the colors of the Palestinian flag on fire. M&S stated that the intent was to playfully depict some people not enjoying wearing paper Christmas hats but removed the post and apologized following criticism on social media.
Both incidents highlight the sensitivity of advertising content in relation to geopolitical conflicts and the potential impact on public perception.
— Forbes (@Forbes) December 12, 2023