Benetton and the United Nations celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights

Benetton’s new international advertising campaign presented in Rome and New York

Ponzano, 13 March 1998. The beautiful faces of children from all round the world, photographed by Oliviero Toscani, make an ideal frame for the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is the powerful symbolism of the Benetton Group’s new international advertising campaign, created in conjunction with the United Nations Organisation in Italy, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. The campaign and its wider aims were today presented in Rome, at the UN headquarters in Piazza San Marco, and at the same time outlined by a UN spokesman in New York.

The new campaign – a logical progression from Benetton’s previous Faces campaign – is the result of a UN proposal to launch a world communications exercise to mark the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights (approved by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948). The aim is to remind world public opinion of people’s fundamental rights, as individuals and as members of social groups, and to emphasise the fact that the protection of these rights is a prime duty of each one of the UN’s member states.

The Benetton/UN campaign will feature in major newspapers in Australia, Austria, Canada, Korea, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United States and Taiwan. Posters will be displayed in bus shelters, on billboards and on the sides of buses in some of the major cities of Canada and the United States.

The UN’s invitation to participate in a joint communications exercise of this kind is a striking endorsement of the value and quality of Benetton’s communications programmes. For over ten years, these have focused on social issues of universal importance, such as peace, the struggle against racism and tolerance of diversity. This joint venture with the United Nations is a sequel to other large-scale co-operative projects, undertaken with the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation), as part of the effort to combat hunger, with major humanitarian organisations such as Caritas, the Red Cross, SOS Racisme and the Peace Association, and with some forty bodies involved in the struggle against AIDS. Benetton has always been an active partner in these ventures, helping to conceive and carry out initiatives with an international impact, for instance the Clothing Redistribution Project, various AIDS information and prevention campaigns, and the Sarajevo- Heart of Europe project.


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