Press Releases and Statements

United Colors of Benetton launches UNEMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR. A new global communication campaign to support non-employed youth.

United Colors of Benetton, through the UNHATE Foundation, launches an online contest to sustain 100 projects, submitted and selected by young non-employed people all over the globe.


18 set 2012_th_benetton_unhate_unemployeeLondon, 18 September 2012. Today, United Colors of Benetton presents its contribution to the youth non-employment issue, a crucial theme for the future of our planet and to which the brand wants to draw the public’s attention.

The UNEMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR communication campaign, set up under the aegis of the UNHATE Foundation, seeks to challenge clichés about youth non-employment and asserts a belief in the creativity of the world’s youth. Through it, the UNHATE Foundation, whose aim is to promote a culture of non-hate, will support youth to become actors of change against indifference and stigma.

According to its tradition of raising awareness for socially delicate and controversial issues, United Colors of Benetton wants to help change perceptions of non-employed youth. This is in line with the brand’s entrepreneurial, social and ethical values. During the 2011 UNHATE campaign, as many as 500 million people from around the world participated in a broad range of traditional and digital communication activities.

Young non-employed people, between the ages of 18 and 30, are invited to submit outlines of projects to be supported: within the UNHATE Foundation mission, their ideas must lead to concrete social impact in their community. The outlines for projects in different areas (including artistic projects) will be submitted to the UNHATE Foundation website and will be voted by the online community. Their choice of the 100 most deserving projects will receive support from the UNHATE Foundation to turn these projects into reality.

United Colors of Benetton wants to send a positive message of hope to celebrate the ability of young people to find new, intelligent and creative ways of facing the problem of unemployment and finding their own unique solution.

The new United Colors of Benetton communication campaign presents a realistic portrait of today’s society by actively tackling a current problem, that of youth non-employment and the potential conflict between generations, in order to show it in a new light and create value for the immense human capital of young people”, said Alessandro Benetton, Chairman of the Benetton Group. “We can’t change the world but United Colors of Benetton wants to use its voice to champion young people and celebrate their strength and value”.

The UNEMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR communication campaign is supported by a global set of communication activities that present also a series of portrait photos of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) below the age of 30. The NEETs have been selected worldwide on the basis of profiles that narrated their identity built on study and commitment as well as their interests and passions. These are young people who are seeking their path in life, examples of a generation, the first since the War, which has to fight harder to find a job and build a better future for themselves then their parents.

Formal clothes to face a normal working day: the ironic stigmatization of the campaign featuring them as businesspeople wants to emphasize this new UNHATE generation of modern heroes and celebrate their effort and struggle for a more permanent future. A generation that testifies that being non-employed doesn’t mean being useless, lazy or an anarchist. A generation that is fighting for a less temporary future in a different way. Contrary to common misconceptions about being young and non-employed, their smart, creative and inspiring working experiences do not compromise their dignity.

To support this initiative, United Colors of Benetton will release a film paying homage to today’s youth. The film is an unfiltered portrayal of the everyday life of four young NEETs. We see how they fight to find a job while at the same time fighting for their dignity, against indifference and stigma. Through a partnership with MTV and digital media, United Colors of Benetton will broadcast these ads and call to action, reaching more than 35 countries.

This communication project will run globally, in print and virally, through photographs and videos, using social media and an ironic approach to facilitate the involvement of young people who can help face the global problem of unemployment.

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Notes to Editors:

THE UNHATE Foundation

The Benetton Group formed the UNHATE Foundation at the end of 2011 to identify and pursue tangible initiatives and projects which support the social aspirations of its campaigns. The UNHATE Foundation constitutes a world frame of reference for the promotion of the culture of non-hate and acceptance, based on the founding values of United Colors of Benetton.

The core principles through which the Foundation operates are: the fight against hate and discrimination in all its forms; the support of new generations, where youth are the main actors and beneficiaries of concrete projects, communication campaigns and education activities; the dissemination of the social impact of Art, as the key tool of the Foundation in its activities against hate and discrimination.

The UNHATE projects support concrete actions in local communities to promote dialogue and the acceptance of diversity. They are implemented by associations and organisations whose beneficiaries are young people. These actions are selected for their capacity to bring long-lasting and rooted positive effects in the target communities.

As its first concrete project, the UNHATE Foundation has supported the social reintegration, through art and photography, of New Delhi’s street children, in partnership with the Salaam Balak Trust, a local organisation. In Brazil it’s starting a project for children and youth of Sao Paulo, together with the local partner Projeto Quixote: through art activities, street children and youth in danger will have a chance of social upliftment. In New York, the UNHATE Foundation is developing a project for youth of the Portorican community in Harlem.

Moreover, following the November 2011 launch of the UNHATE campaign, the Foundation supported an artistic initiative to create a giant “Dove of Peace” using spent bullet casings collected from warzones across Africa. The piece was designed and built by students from around the world and presented as a symbol of peace to the people of Libya on Independence Day 2011.

The UNHATE Foundation is another important step in the Benetton Group’s corporate social responsibility strategy. It is a contribution that will have a real impact on the international community, involving a variety of stakeholders: the new generations, institutions, international organizations, NGOs and the general public.

Core principles

the fight against hate and discrimination in all its forms
• the support of new generations
the dissemination of the social impact of Art

United Colors of Benetton communication – continuity and innovation

With the UNEMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR communication campaign, United Colors of Benetton is creating a realistic portrait of the present. It is the fil rouge of the Benetton Group’s official corporate campaigns which focus on social themes, actively promoting freedom of speech and humanitarian causes which otherwise may not be championed on the world stage. In communicating these social issues, United Colors of Benetton is giving voice to the values that have consistently built and defined its brand and helped to create an enduring dialogue with the people of the world.

It is the policy of Benetton Group Chairman Alessandro Benetton to be in increasing communication with the world of young people, with a digital communication strategy focused on social media. Up to 80% of the advertising budget will be allocated to digital marketing over the coming years, which has already shown its potential to deliver results quickly.

The UNHATE campaign of autumn-winter 2011 is an example of this new strategy which, in line with Benetton Group’s social and cultural identity, achieved extraordinary resonance, above all on the web, used by new generations, in emerging areas of the world such as India and Latin America as well as technologically advanced countries such as the US.

A total of 500 million hits were counted. The interest generated by the UNHATE campaign placed Benetton among the first five “trending” topics worldwide both on Twitter and Google during the days following the campaign launch. Benetton fans on Facebook increased by 60% during the launch. Attention from international media also reflected the relevance of the issue addressed by the UNHATE campaign, with more than 3,000 articles published in the press and over 600 TV reports aired in 60 countries around the world.

Unemployment in Europe and the World

The economic crisis has aggravated the crisis in the world of work, leading to dramatic situations in many parts of the planet but especially in Europe. Young people are the hardest hit: today they are nearly 3 times more likely to be unemployed than their adult counterparts. According to the ILO (International Labour Organization) the latest data for 2012 shows there are 75 million unemployed youth worldwide, in the 15 to 24 age range, with a world youth unemployment rate of 12.7%. If we widen the age range from 15 to 29, it is estimated that the figure is over 100 million unemployed youths.