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There

are no shocking pictures, only shocking reality Oliviero Toscani

United Colors of Benetton engaging in shockvertising


Lene Krogsgaard Svinth Student number: 301709 Supervisor: Leila Trapp Business and Social Sciences May 6, 2013 Characters excluding blanks: 48.639

Abstract
The increasing competition companies are facing today demands them to differentiate in order to survive on the market. It has become important for companies to choose a fitting communication strategy, to add value to their brand. Therefore it is interesting to examine the communication strategy of Benetton. The thesis evolves around the following problem statement: There are no shocking pictures, only shocking reality Oliviero Toscani. Why have Benetton engaged in shockvertising? What factors make shockvertising offensive to the audience? In order to answer the problem statement, the thesis includes an adequate presentation of the Benetton Group, including chapters about Oliviero Toscani, the history of the company and the advertising philosophy of Benetton. As the theoretical framework, the thesis involves thorough description of the theories of the three semioticians Pierce, Barthes and Saussure. Furthermore, the theory and concept of shockvertising is described. Hermeneutics is the methodological foundation of the analysis. The analysis is divided into three parts each concerning a category of selected advertisements of Benetton. The first category is called The cycle of difference showing images, which represent racism and religion. The second category is called The cycle of reality, and shows controversial images from the real world. The third category is called The UNHATE campaign and shows four images from the much discussed campaign from 2011, made by Fabrica and representing the UNHATE Foundation, which was the new initiative of Benetton that year. All the advertisements included in the analysis have met criticism for being controversial. The intentions of Benetton have always been to expressing their core values in their advertising, instead of showing their clothing. The conclusion sums up, the thesis and answers the problem statement by verifying the truth in the quotation of Oliviero Toscani, stating that the reality is shocking, not the pictures.

Table of content
1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................. 1 1.1. Description of purpose and theory statement .................................................................................. 1 1.2. Delimitation ..................................................................................................................................................... 3 1.3. Structure of BA thesis .................................................................................................................................. 4 2. Background of United Colors of Benetton ................................................................................................... 5 2.1. Company history ........................................................................................................................................... 5 2.2. Oliviero Toscani ............................................................................................................................................. 6 2.3. Advertising philosophy of Benetton ..................................................................................................... 7 2.3.1. COLORS magazine ............................................................................................................................... 8 2.3.2. Fabrica ....................................................................................................................................................... 9 2.4. UNHATE foundation ..................................................................................................................................... 9 3. Theoretical background ................................................................................................................................... 11 3.1. Shockvertising ............................................................................................................................................. 11 3.1.1. Reasons for offensiveness in shockvertising campaigns .................................................. 12 3.2. Semiotics ........................................................................................................................................................ 14 3.2.1. What is semiotics? ............................................................................................................................. 14 3.2.2. Charles Sanders Peirces concept of signs .............................................................................. 15 3.2.3. Ferdinand de Saussure .................................................................................................................... 18 3.2.4. Roland Barthes theory of denotation and connotation .................................................... 19 4. Methodology ......................................................................................................................................................... 21 5. Analysis of Benettons shockvertising ....................................................................................................... 22 5.1. The cycle of difference ............................................................................................................................. 22 5.2. The cycle of reality ..................................................................................................................................... 25 5.3. The UNHATE Campaign ........................................................................................................................... 28 6. Conclusion .............................................................................................................................................................. 30 7. References .............................................................................................................................................................. 31 List of tables and figures .......................................................................................................................................... 33

1. Introduction
Chapter one will introduce my thesis and further explain the purpose of my chosen subject and hereby determine my focus. In addition, the thesis delimitations and structure will be described.

1.1.Description of purpose and theory statement


There are no shocking pictures, only shocking reality. - Oliviero Toscani (Toscani 1996). Advertising is present in our everyday lives. From newspapers, television, and radio to billboards and the Internet. Every day the average consumer is exposed to more than 5000 brand and advertising messages (Johnson 2009). The number has been increasing intensely during the last 30 years, making it very difficult for the marketers to break through the clutter. Companies must realize that they should be more than just a product and can no longer rely on consumers to be attracted by product-related features. Therefore, it is essential for companies to build a strong brand and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Because companies have to differentiate themselves, they have to find a fitting communication strategy, which expresses their core values and identity. Now that the communication strategy is crucial for the survival of the company, I find it interesting and important to examine, how an international and successful company manages to differentiate themself in terms of communicative strategies and choices. I have chosen to investigate the company United Colors of Benetton (subsequently also referred to as Benetton), which is an Italian clothing company with stores in more than 120 countries (Benetton 2012). Because Benetton produce and distribute clothing for all ages, it is facing immense competition from the gigantic industry of textile. Benettons work with core values and identity is intense. The company knows the importance of showing both employees and consumers sides of reliability and recognition. It can be very hazardous to say one thing and do another. There has to be a consistency in how the company acts, or else it will interfere with the reliability. In a world where the consumers are exposed to thousands of communication messages a day, it is demanded that companies show

integrity. In the communication-based society we live in, it is crucial for companies to position themselves by showing that they have something on agenda that the consumers can affiliate to or dissociate from (ibid). Benetton is not only the name of a leading clothing brand, but it is also associated with how you can succeed by means of tabooed topics such as death, racism and homosexuality. Where other international companies adapt their advertising to suit different demographics, Benetton has chosen a strategy with a universal message that is valid for all customers despite nationality, language, race or skin color (Benetton 2011). Since Oliviero Toscani became a part of Benetton advertising in 1982, the company has engaged in what can be described as shockvertising1 and is one of the initial companies to use that strategy. Therefore it is ideal to use Benetton as basis for this thesis. My motivation for writing this thesis is grounded in an interest of the shockvertising Benetton have engaged in since the 1980s and an opportunity to investigate the truth and validity in the quotation of Oliviero Toscani. Hence, my problem statement: There are no shocking pictures, only shocking reality Oliviero Toscani. Why have Benetton engaged in shockvertising? What factors make shockvertising offensive to the audience? I am aware that a lot of studies have been made on Benettons communicative strategies, but I have chosen to look at it in another perspective in terms of methodological choice, by making an analysis based on semiotics of a selection of Benetton advertisements. The advertisements are chosen thoroughly to match the theory of shockvertising and to why people get offended. I have chosen three categories of advertisements and given each a headline. Within each of these categories there are a small selection of advertisement that all deal with the headline of the category. The three categories are respectively: 1 The concept of shockvertising will be described thoroughly in chapter 3

- - -

The cycle of difference The cycle of reality The UNHATE campaign

Having described the focus and purpose of the thesis, I will now discuss the delimitations.

1.2. Delimitation
Benetton has made a vast number of controversial advertisements, which can be used in an analysis based on shockvertising. As stated earlier, I have chosen to focus on three categories of advertisements. The choice is based on the fact that all the advertisements of one category have the same communicative purpose, concerning how Benetton desires to make a change or enlighten society about a certain matter. Furthermore, I have chosen two categories consisting of advertisements from the timeframe where Oliviero Toscani was leading the advertising of Benetton and one category with recent advertisements from when the communication research centre, Fabrica. The categories connect with some of the taboo topics from the shockvertising strategy. Due to space limitation, it was not possible to make analysis corresponding to all the topics, and reasons for why people find shockvertising offensive, but I have chosen three rather significant issues to include in the analysis. Furthermore, I have delimitations in connection to the theories, which will be applied. I have chosen approaches that will support my analysis and interpretation of the chosen campaign material. I will explain the notions of Saussure, Peirce and Barthes regarding semiotics, because of their importance to the development of the semiotics concept. However, I have chosen to only include the denotation and connotation theory of Barthes in my analysis, as it is the theory I find most relevant. Nevertheless, the three theories share similarities, and to apply all theories, would be unnecessary. In my presentation of the Benetton company, I have chosen to provide a thorough presentation of the company history, Oliviero Toscani, the advertising philosophy, COLORS Magazine, Fabrica, and the UNHATE foundation, as I find it relevant to include.

1.3. Structure of BA thesis


The thesis is divided into 7 chapters, which are: - - - - - - - Here will follow a short description of the 4 major chapters. Chapter 2. Presentation of United Colors of Benetton will be my starting point, where Benetton history, philosophy and activities will be described. Furthermore, I will make a presentation of Oliviero Toscani. Chapter 3. Theoretical background will provide a description of the theory, which has important impact on ensuring an answer to the problem statement. This includes a description of the term shockvertising. Furthermore, I will account for the reasons why people find shockvertising to be offensive. In Chapter 4. Methodology, I explain the methodological framework I have chosen in order to answer my problem statement. In Chapter 5. Analysis of Benettons shockvertising, the three categories of advertisements will be analyzed on the basis of semiotics and shockvertising theory. In the following chapter, United Colors of Benetton will be presented, with focus on their history, advertising and activities. Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Presentation of United Colors of Benetton Chapter 3: Theoretical background Chapter 4: Methodology Chapter 5: Analysis of Benettons shockvertising Chapter 6: Conclusion Chapter 7: References

2. Background of United Colors of Benetton


2.1. Company history
Benetton Group S.p.A. was founded in 1965 in Italy. The history of the company can be traced back to 1960, where Luciano Benetton, the oldest of 4 siblings, worked as a salesman in Treviso. Here he saw a market for colorful clothes and sold a younger brothers bicycle in order to buy his first sewing machine. His first collection of sweaters received a positive response in the local stores in Veneto, and shortly hereafter his sister, Guiliana, and his two younger brothers, Carlo and Gilberto, joined in. In 1965 the company known as Benetton Group was established with headquarters in Ponzano Veneto, Italy. In 1966, Benetton Group opened the first store in Belluno, and three years later it opened the first international store in Paris (Salvemini 2002: 15). Very quickly the company was transformed into a world leading clothing manufacturer and retailer. Benetton Group is present in 120 countries with a total of more than 6500 stores, and employs around 9500 people (Benetton 2012). The core business of the company is clothing, and it operates in the fashion industry with 4 different brands; United Colors of Benetton, Undercolors of Benetton, Sisley, and lastly Playlife. The products of the brands include women swear, menswear, children swear, underwear, nightwear, beachwear etc. to a very broad target group. The initial brand, United Colors of Benetton is one of the five biggest world brands. Besides clothing, the brand has expanded and is now also specialized in accessories, perfumes, eyewear, travel bags, and home products (Benetton 2011). The initial logo was a simple drawing of a ball of wool with a Benetton name placed on a green background, because green were Giulianas favorite color. The first slogan of the company that appeared on Benetton advertisements were: All the colors of the world. The slogan later on evolved into a change in the brand name; United Colors of Benetton. United colors symbolize both the colorful clothing that United Colors of Benetton produces, but also united human races and a united world. The company was so fascinated by the idea of united colors that they made the decision to make the slogan into the logo. The change of the logo reflected the process of the firm developing from a family business into a global brand (Salvemini 2002: 16).

2.2. Oliviero Toscani


As a son of a photographer for the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, Oliviero Toscani was born in Milan in 1942. He followed in his fathers footsteps by following the dream of becoming a photographer. In 1957, at the age of 15, he took the first photo to become world- famous, namely the picture of Il Duces2 morning widow, Rachele Mussolini. Five years later he was admitted to the art school, Zrich Kunstgewerbeschule. From here he graduated in 1965 with a degree in photography and graphics. Subsequently he worked for various fashion companies and magazines. He did not work for an ad agency, because, in his opinion, agencies set up certain rules about advertising, and the free spirited Toscani had a strained relationship with rules. One rule of agencies, said that advertising campaigns have to be based on the television media to be able to become successful. Toscani broke the rule and proved it was not true (Toscani: 1996). This was good enough for Benetton. In 1982 Luciano Benetton thought that United Colors of Benetton needed a new first class image, and they wanted Toscani to help create that image. The same year, Toscani was elected into the Italian radical political party, which was the most radical party in the EU, but the party does not exist anymore. By being a part of this party, Toscani showed his tendency to support controversy. The actual collaboration started one night in 1983. Luciano Benetton was in the process of employing a new photographer and decided to call Toscani, who was attending the birth of one of his Appaloosa horses. Toscani accepted the job offer and started the job as photographer for Benetton at the same time as Benetton Group bought 50% of his former workplace, Fiorucci. Toscani was proud that even though the Benetton group had a relatively low budget, they still gave him the opportunity to create a new type of social communication. The first campaign by Toscani for Benetton was published in spring-summer 1984, showing a group photo of 11 children, all with different ethnic background. Already then, the accusations of controversy started. The controversy expanded and became a trademark for the Benetton brand. Even though Toscani has been criticized over and over, Luciano Benetton provided him 2 Benito Mussolini was identified as El Duce, which means The Leader

with support all the way through, and the two men established a close friendship (Salvemini 2002: 28-29). Toscani had no limitations while inventing new campaigns and a new strategy for the company. Luciano has never censored the work of Toscani, because he knew that the advertising was adding a new value to the company. Luciano once said to Toscani: Oliviero, dont allow the sales managers to fool you. Trust just in your instinct and your creative ideas in your work. If you listen the marketing managers, the next thing they will tell you is where to place your camera, that the black men are too black, and the white too white. You should do, what you think should be done, and you dont even have to listen to me. (Toscani 1997: 139) Oliviero Toscani stayed as photographer for Benetton for 18 years, until 2000. His Benetton advertising campaigns have been displayed all around the world. Opponents of Toscani think his photos are outrageous, and that it is immoral to make money on other peoples misery. Toscani can take credit for creating an image Benetton still retains today (Benetton 2011).

2.3. Advertising philosophy of Benetton


When you look at Benettons communication strategy, the company is not like everyone else. The company has built a strong brand, by doing remarkable advertising. Unlike most advertisements, which are based on a companys product or image, Benettons advertising campaign addresses social and political issues. The green logo, which is briefly described company history chapter (2.1.), is essential for the company, because Benetton have chosen to eliminate pictures of their products from the advertisements. With no pictures of products in their advertising campaigns, the logo is the only element identifying Benetton as sender. It is essential for Benetton to differentiate on their advertising strategy from competing companies, by communicating and acting their core values. Normally companies adapt their advertising to suit the different areas to where they export. Benetton break with that tradition, by making universal advertising messages, which are valid for all people beyond borders, despite skin color and language (Benetton, 2012). Furthermore, Benetton aims to combine the economic growth of the company, with social commitment, competitiveness, care for the environment, business and ethics, in order to correspond their actions with the messages of their advertisements (ibid).

The controversial and powerful advertising and communication philosophy is unique for Benetton, and the reader of this thesis is encouraged to keep in mind the core values: Real life, real people challenging stereotypes and shock value. 2.3.1. COLORS magazine

While Toscani was a part of Benetton advertising team, he did not only shoot pictures for advertising, but he also contributed in other ways. In 1991 he created COLORS magazine together with Tibor Kalman as an aspect of Benettons communication strategy. The philosophy behind the concept is that diversity is positive, and all cultures have equal value (Benetton 2011). The target group of the magazine is young adults across the world. It is distributed quarterly in more than 40 countries and published in four bilingual editions, all in English and respectively Italian, French, Spanish and Korean. The content of the magazine is about the rest of the world (Colors 2013). Every issue takes a certain topic and covers it from an international perspective. Examples of past covered topics are light topics such as travel, fashion and shopping, and more challenging serious topics such as AIDS, war, ecology, immigration, religion, slavery, and race. The latter topics are often deemed controversial by other publication houses and are hardly ever published or written about. The most important medium in COLORS is pictures. Pictures are expressive, universal and are able to reach the greatest number of people with a strong immediate impact. In 2006 COLORS magazine started a project with Pomidou Centre from Paris and Reporters without Borders3 called COLORS Notebook. It is a special edition of the magazine with 50 blank pages, so the receivers can write their own story or express themselves, as they like. COLORS Notebooks have been distributed all over the world to those groups of people that no one listens to, including Chinese prison inmates, South African children, people with mental disorder, and ordinary people among others. The purpose is to give voice to the rest of the world, and give people a chance to tell stories that nobody has ever heard (Ibid). COLORS have been awarded several times for their photos, editorial design, and website. 3 Reporters without Borders is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization that promotes freedom of speech and defends journalists around the world. The organization has consultant status at the United Nations.

Today COLORS is a part of the publishing activity of Fabrica, which will be described in the next paragraph. 2.3.2. Fabrica

In 1994 Benetton Group established Fabrica in collaboration with Oliviero Toscani. Fabrica is a communication research centre in Treviso in Italy. It is not a school, an advertising agency, nor a university. It is a creativity laboratory where young artist and designers from around the world are invited to work in the areas of design, visual communication, photography, interaction, video, music, and publishing under the guidance of mentors, combining personal projects with work for clients. The centre is financed by Benetton Group, and is located near Venice, in an ancient villa from the seventeenth century. A major restoration and enlargement project was carried out by Tadao Ando, and included the creation of study areas, laboratories, offices, and facilities such as a library, a cinema, and an auditorium. The mixture of vintage and modern architecture encourages communication and dialogue between people from different backgrounds. The research of the centre strives to practice the criticism or review of communication. Furthermore, the centre does research into future trends and new ideas, which are conducted among students, who actively research in their field of communication (Fabrica 2012).

2.4. UNHATE foundation


In November 2011 Benetton presented the UNHATE foundation, which is a worldwide communication campaign. It is an invitation to leaders and citizens of the world to contribute to a new culture against hate. Fabrica created the campaign of very controversial advertisements where world leaders including Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Hugo Chavez, are kissing mouth-to-mouth. The campaign immediately caused a stir. The Vatican even announced that they were going to take legal actions against Benetton after advertisement where Pope Benedict XVI is kissing the imam Ahmed Mohamed el Tayeb of the Al Azhar mosque in Egypt. Benetton withdraw the image from all publication, with an apology saying that the meaning of the campaign was exclusively to combat the culture of hatred and not to offend the sentiments of the faithful (Unhate 2013)

The campaign was created as a part of Benetton Groups corporate social responsibility strategy. With the symbolic images of reconciliation, with a touch of irony and constructive provocation, Benetton hoped to stimulate reflections on politics even when they are mutually opposed, and lead them to dialogue. The simple message of UNHATE reflects tolerance, and Benetton returns to consideration of the cultural conversation. Love and hate are often closely related, but with an unstable balance. With this campaign, Benetton wishes to stabilize the relationship between the two. Besides the controversial images of kissing world leaders, the campaign includes projects in different geographical areas with the purpose to promote acceptance of diversity and establish educational programs against hate. The latest UNHATE campaign is called Unemployee of the year, showing pictures of unemployed people under 30 years old, dressed up in a suit, with the title of a non-journalist, non sound engineer, non-lawyer etc. All unemployed people between 18 and 30 are invited to submit ideas for projects to the UNHATE foundation. The projects must contain a social impact on the community. There will then be a vote on the UNHATE website, and the 100 most worthy projects will receive support from the foundation, so they can be carried out in reality (Ibid). Today it seems like nothing can surprise audiences anymore, but again the campaign has met criticism for not really being advertising and for taking it too far.

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3. Theoretical background
In this section of the thesis, all relevant concepts and theories will be examined in order to create the foundation for the analysis. First of all, an introduction to the concept of shockvertising will be presented followed up by a research description of reasons of offence. Later I will introduce semiotics, and describe the theories of Charles Sanders Peirce, Ferdinand de Saussure and Roland Barthes.

3.1.Shockvertising
Shockvertising is a contraction of the two words shock and advertising. The term refers to the use of controversial, provocative, disturbing or explicit content to attract the consumers attention through the advertising clutter. Advertisers hope to sell their products by horrifying, terrifying, offensive, repulsive, taboo and emotion-provoking images, and evoking feelings amongst consumers (Shock Advertising 2013). As the fight for catching the attention of the consumers has become continuously more difficult, shockvertising is an opportunity to be noticed in the clutter of competition. The strategy has become popular during the last three decades. This type of advertising is employed to sensitize people to religion, racism, war, poverty, and other taboo topics. The more shocking the campaign, the more it will provoke commotion (Ibid). Like any other type of advertising, shockvertising has limits. The success of a shocking campaign depends on the context, the product, and the message you want to get across. If the shockvertising is tasteful, it will prove a point successfully, but if the amount of shock and disgust is too high, it might make people to look away, and the advertisement have failed (Waller 2004). Companies that employ shocking advertisement get more media coverage, because of the shock value. The companies are often target for discussion in the media, about ethic standards. This kind of media coverage is free for the company behind the discussed advertisement or campaign. It is also risky, since the company could develop a negative image. A late Danish king of travel, Simon Spies, once said Bad press is better than no press4 4 Translated from the original quotation Drlig omtale er bedre end ingen omtale

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(Spies, 2011). On the basis of this statement and the fact that the companies engage in using shockvertising voluntarily, you might think that they are not concerned about being target for bad press. They are aware that the advertisements are controversial and will evoke feelings among the receivers and the media. When investigating the concept of shockvertising it is impossible not to refer to Benetton and Oliviero Toscani. The eighteen years of collaboration made a parade of shockvertising in the advertising industry, and questioned its role through the controversial and shocking campaigns, and by shocking the receivers together with exceeding the limits of decency and taboos. Shockvertising may implement appeals of fear. The objective for using such appeal is to motivate the audience to a certain action or educate about a certain danger.

3.1.1. Reasons for offensiveness in shockvertising campaigns Calder, Phillips and Tybout have conducted a research among university students in a large urban university. The purpose of the research was to measure the attitudes towards controversial products advertising and reasons for offensiveness. The usage of cross-cultural sample had the advantage of separating any cultural differences if such exist (Waller 2010). A sample contained 150 students, 73 male and 77 female. The age range among the 150 students was from 18 to 40 years old, with an average age of 21.87. The students were placed in two groups according to their age, one group of 21 years or younger and the other of 22 years of older (Ibid). Respondents were asked to state the level of offence, which every reason caused for their feelings and personality, by stating a point from a five-point scale, 1 meaning not at all offensive and 5 meaning extremely offensive. The list of reasons to be examined, included the 11 headlines: Racist image, sexist image, violence, stereotyping of people, hard sell, concern for children, subject too personal, indecent language, nudity, health & safety issues and lastly anti-social behavior (Ibid: 5).

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Product Racist image Sexist image Violence Stereotyping of people Hard sell children Subject personal Indecent language Nudity Health safety issues Anti-social behavior *p<.020

TOTAL 4.32 (2.59) 3.60 (1.28) 3.55 (1.33) 3.38 (1.12) 3.24 (1.21) (1.41) too 3.13 (1.21) 3.11 (1.23) 3.06 (1.31) and 3.02 (1.35) 2.94 (1.27)

Males 4.51 (3.52) 3.16 (1.36) 3.16 (1.37) 3.14 (1.18) 3.37 (1.26) 3.10 (1.42) 2.84 (1.20) 2.77 (1.24) 2.64 (1.38) 2.85 (1.34) 2.92 (1.22)

Females 4.14 (1.16) 4.01 ** (1.04) 3.91 ** (1.19) 3.60 ** (1.03) 3.11 (1.14) 3.32 (1.40) 3.42 ** (1.15) 3.43 ** (1.14) 3.45 ** (1.12) 3.19 (1.34) 2.96 (1.32)

21 or less 4.37 (3.28) 3.64 (1.35) 3.28 (1.37) 3.34 (1.14) 2.99 (1.20) 2.97 (1.42) 3.09 (1.15) 2.96 (1.28) 3.00 (1.29) 2.97 (1.32) 2.71 (1.29)

22 + 4.24 (.94) 3.53 (1.20) 3.97 ** (1.18) 3.42 (1.13) 3.59 ** (1.12) 3.50 ** (1.35) 3.19 (1.32) 3.28 (1.14) 3.10 (1.36) 3.11 (1.40) 3.30 ** (1.19)

Concern for 3.21

Table 1. Reasons for offensiveness (adapted from Waller 2004, 5) Waller found out that the age of the respondents influenced the study in a significant way. The older group was much more offended by advertisements representing violence, hard sell,

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concern for children and anti-social behavior than the younger group. When looking on the results of a gender point of view, Waller found out that females are more offended to sexist image, violence, stereotyping of people, subject too personal, indecent language and nudity than the group of males. This finding did not surprise Waller, because women are often objects for sexism, stereotyping and nudity (Ibid: 6) The research proves that the receivers are not offended by particular products in the advertisements, but because of the content and message of the advertisement. It is worth noticing that gender is a stronger determinant of offensiveness in comparison to age. This proves that women are more offended by controversial advertising than men. The research can be helpful for companies before engaging in shockvertising, in order to aim their campaigns directly to their target groups, and to know which element to avoid, if the plan is not to offend a certain gender or age (Ibid).

3.2.Semiotics
The analysis is based on semiotics, and therefore this section will provide an overview of the fundamental concepts of semiotics with the emphasis on the theorists Ferdinand de Saussure, Roland Barthes and Charles Sanders Peirce. 3.2.1. What is semiotics? Semiotics originates from the old Greece and the Greek word for sign: semeon. Semiotics is the scientific discipline study of signs and their meanings. Semiotics is based on the structuralism, which was founded by the Swiss linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure. Saussure was interested in signs and sign systems within speech, and he pointed out that structures are nothing when they are alone, but is attached to a meaning when they are put in relation to other elements. Therefore, Saussure was particularly aware of the different elements relation to each other in stead of the elements relation to reality. This basis is the crucial difference between the comprehension of signs by Saussure and the American logician, Charles Sanders Peirce.

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Where Saussure looks on signs as two-sided, with a substance of expression, Peirce operates with a three-sided conception of signs, which includes the relation of the sign to the surrounding world. Saussure regards the relationship between expression and substance as arbitrary, which means that there is no deeper understanding of the word dog corresponding to a specific animal. The crucial is that the society of speech has created agreement about the meaning of signs. Likewise, Peirce believes that a sign is arbitrary, because he repudiates the idea of a sign having inherent characteristics. The crucial distinction between Saussure and Peirce is that the latter involve the receiver as an active partner in the decoding of the sign, and in that way he works with a three-sided concept of signs. It can be difficult to compare Saussure and Pierce, since the each represents two different traditions of research. Saussure is engrossed by signs in the speech system, while Peirce believes a more extensive and broader theory of signs by looking at all forms of communication as signs, and not only speech. During the past few years it has been predominantly Peirces comprehension of the concept of signs, which has gained footing. The reason is that Peirce relates to the meaning of a sign to the society and surrounding world, for which reason his understanding has been ascribed the term pragmatic semiotics (Barker 2012, Aber 2013, Perloff 2010). 3.2.2. Charles Sanders Peirces concept of signs An important point of Peirces comprehension of signs is that a sign is to be comprehended as a relation of signs, which consist of three elements the actual sign5, the object and the interpretant. A sign is first an acting sign, when all three elements are present and connected.

5 The sign is often referres to as representamen

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Peirce defines a sign like this: A sign or representamen is something, which stand to somebody for something in some respect or capacity. It addresses somebody, that is, creates in the mind of that person an equivalent sign, or perhaps a more developed sign. That sign which it creates I call the interpretant of the first sign. The sign stands for something, its object. It stands for that object, not in all respects, but in reference to a sort of idea, which I have sometimes called the ground of the representamen (Aber 2013) As it appears from the quotation, Pierce is convinced that the sign alone means nothing that is to say it has no inherent characteristics, because which stand to somebody for something refers to that a significance of a sign require a human decoding process. Likewise, Peirce points out in the quotation that everything can be signs in some respect or capacity, because this addition indicates, that a sign not only is reduced to include words, but also can include possible signs such as physical or mental characteristics (clothes, cars, mess, smile etc.) (Aber 2013) If we return to the relation of signs, the representamen is the actual sign, whether it concerns sound, color, speech or writing and is a sign for the object. The object is what representamen refers to or stands for, while the interpretant is the interpreted signification of the relation between representamen and the object the mental picture, which the representamen generates. In this way you can argue that an interpretant is created in the moment when a new sign is constructed, which Peirce indicates as unlimited semiosis. This
Sign / representamen Object Interpretant

Figure 1. Pierces triad of semiotics

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process can be interpreted as an endless line of associations, where the sign mom can lead the receiver to the interpretant food, which can be lead further to homely comfort, idyll, relaxation etc. This endless semiosis has the semiotic buzzword that people is in a distance of an interpretation from reality. According to Peirce, a sign does not exist before it is connected to a human decoding process, and therefore Pierce has to refuse the power to the receiver in a situation of communication. In the light of a marketing perspective, it has the consequence that the receivers embedded codes in an advertisement for instance, does not make sense, until the text is connected to a receiver (Ibid). Peirce claims that a sign can be divided by how it refers to reality. He distinguishes between three types of signs, which arise in the relation between the representamen and the object: iconic, indexical and symbolic. The iconic sign looks like the object it stands for. One example can be a photo. On the other hand, the indexical sign has a proximity connection with the object, which either can be physical or mental. For example the Eiffel Tower can be perceived as an indexical sign of Paris. The symbolic sign refers to the object by virtue of a convention, that the speech community has agreed on and can be a rose having the symbolic meaning of love. Everything has a meaning. For instance, if you look at a regular home, all the furniture, the carpets, the paintings on the wall are all selected with a particular reference to express something: comfort, modern design or something completely different. Things have a meaning whether the meaning is intentional or not. Or whether the meaning are decoded by others, across the owners intention or not. They still mean something (Ibid). We read signs every day, and we all express signs in our speech and our consumer behavior. We are all a sort of every day semioticians. The significance that semiotics has for marketing, is the link between production, advertising and consumer behavior.

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3.2.3. Ferdinand de Saussure As briefly described before, Ferdinand de Saussure was a Swiss linguist, and he introduced semiotics into linguistics as a term of the general knowledge about signs. He considered speech as a sign system in line with other sign systems such as writing and the deaf-mute alphabet. Saussures sign concept was revolutionary because he ascribed the linguistic sign a meaning. So far the interpretation had been that the sign concept was one-sided, understood like an object and its meaning was inseparably connected. Saussure made the sign concept two-sided and explained that the sign is a relation between signifier (signifiant), being the signs level of expression, and signified (signifi), being the signs level of content. He interpreted that the expression is a meaningful form and the content is the concept that the expression generates by the subject. The content does not exist physically, but only in a mental representation for the level of expression; so saying it is the mental expression, which is the essential (Aber 2013). Saussure illustrates his two-sided sign concept with the word ox. This specifies that the sign is arbitrary by showing that the content of the word ox does not equals the animal ox, but is mental concept of ox. The speech community has reached an agreement that this specific word and the specific animal correspond. The linguistic sign emerge as a result of a process that is to say that the connection of expression and content creates the actual signification of the sign. In another way, you can say that signifier and signified, which indicate the linguistic signs two sides, can only appear simultaneously and in that way it is the mutual opposition that gives the two sides value and existence (Barker 2012: 76-79).

Expression Sign (Signe) = Content

(Signifier/signifiant) (Signified/signifi) Creation of meaning (Signification)

Figure 2. Saussures two-sided sign concept

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3.2.4. Roland Barthes theory of denotation and connotation The French semioticians, Roland Barthes, based his theory on Saussures sign concept by acknowledging that a sign has content and an expression. He developed Saussures semiotic approach further by including the visual level. Barthes lets us in on how an image actively can entail a new creation of concept and he also introduces us to the relationship between text and image. According to Barthes, denotation and connotation include all signs, such as images, words etc. Barthes describes the concept of denotation being the descriptive, and literal level of meaning shared by virtually all members of culture. Thus. pig may denote the concept of a useful pink farm animal with a snout and curly tail, etc. (Barker 2012: 79). To explain the denotation level you ask the question of what is in the picture which objects there are. Barthes states that every image is polysemic6. By asking for meaning you produce the different polysemic denotations, which the denotation observation and analysis answer partially. The general premise of Barthes definition is that the denotation level is a message without codes, which is the diametrical opposites to the connotation level, which are coded. The codeless message as naturally founded, while the connotation is culturally founded. However, Barthes has modified this hypothesis by distinguishing between codeless denotation messages and coded denotation messages. The codeless messages can be photos (iconic signs) and the coded messages can be cartoons and other (indexical and symbolic signs). The question is if Barthes thinks that some signs eventually have become commonly known and accepted, so that the sign can appear naturally on the denotation level, and in that way the signs do not seem coded and staged. The connotation level must be interpreted in connection with the denotation level, as the connotation level arises by the denotation level of a sign. A sign can be compared to a coin, which consist of two sides of the same coin. 6 Polysemic means that a sign/word/image carries more than one potential meaning (Barker 2012: 82)

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Sign


Signifier


Signifier Signified

Signified

Connotation Denotation

Figure 3. Saussures two-sided sign concept The connotation level can be defined like this: Connotation involves meanings that are generated by connecting signifiers to wider cultural concerns. Here, meanings involved the association of signs with other cultural codes of meaning. Thus, pig may connote a nasty police officer or male chauvinist according to the sub-codes or lexicons at work (Barker 2012: 79). The connotation level is always coded culturally, and the decoding of the connotation must require that the receiver is able to decode the cultural meaning that the denotation generates. An important point is that the connotation is not conditioned individual, but is common for a speech community. Some connotation meanings can be the same for a speech community, while other connotations can be difficult to decode, due to an individual perception of the sign. Barthes indicates that denotation employs the syntagma axis, which is how different signs are combined. Connotation employs the paradigm axis, which is how much the sign differs from other signs the contrast axis. By replacing some of the signs, a connotation of a sign can seem more inspiring (Aber 2013).

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4. Methodology
The thesis is overall structured according to Friedrich Schleiermachers notion on hermeneutics, and its connection to interpretation of an image. It is understood that by analyzing images according to the hermeneutical approach, it is possible to understand how Benetton is communicating through interpretation. The problem statement lay out the research questions for the thesis. I intend to find out why Benetton have engaged in using shockvertising, and what makes shockvertising offensive to the audience. I order to answer these questions I will make an analysis of three categories of Benetton advertisements. In the analysis I will employ theories from semiotics. The analysis is subjective, and based on my own findings. As this is our purpose 7 , the hermeneutic approach provides a good framework for understanding the communication strategy of Benetton, and furthermore interprets on the findings. Schleiermacher argues that it is not possible to know the purpose behind an image without acquiring knowledge about the sender of the image (Beck Holm 2011: 89). To relate that theory to my thesis, it says that in order to analyze the communicative strategy of Benetton, I must be able to understand Benetton, regarding communication history of the company. Therefore, I have introduced the history and advertising philosophy of Benetton in the second chapter, Background of United Colors of Benetton, and throughout the analysis I will reflect and interpret on the communicative strategy. I will be applying the hermeneutical approach by analyzing and interpreting of campaign material and also theoretical material, and hereby provide answers to the problem statement. In order to provide these answers it is necessary to apply a combination of theories on semiotics and shockvertising. One by one I will analyze the three categories of advertisements with the headlines The cycle of difference, The cycle of reality and The UNHATE campaign. Each analysis will begin with an introduction to the category of advertisements. After having analyzed the three categories, I will provide a conclusion of the findings in the analysis and giving a final answer to the problem statement. 7 The purpose is also described in the introduction (chapter 1)

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5. Analysis of Benettons shockvertising


5.1. The cycle of difference
This category of advertisements is about differences. The following four advertisements represent differences in skin-color, race and religion, and will de analyzed in this section.

The first image (upper left) is from autumn-winter 1989. This image is the most awarded print ad from Benetton. The denotation of the advertisement is a black woman breastfeeding a white child. The connotations would be an undertone of slavery the black woman is nursing the white baby. The second image (upper right) is from autumn-winter 1989. The denotation is a white and a black man handcuffed together. The connotation would be that every man has the equal willingness to commit crime. Benetton is trying to disprove the stereotyping idea of black

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people committing crime. In the matter of crime, the skin-color is not crucial. Another connotation is that the men are equal despite different skin-color. The first and second images were both part of the autumn-winter campaign in 1988-1989. In both images we see two persons, respectively a white and a black, and none of them are showing faces. This is a sign of Benetton wanting to make a general statement about mixture of skin color. At the time these images were published, apartheid was still a reality in parts of the world and strong racist beliefs were still held. Toscani and Benetton published the first image all over the world, because they felt that racism was a very important social issue that should not be ignored but openly dealt with. The reactions towards the image were controversial. In the United States the black community strongly opposed the image of a white baby, because they felt it was racist that Toscani was trying to underline the clich of the black wet nurse and the white newborn baby. The population perceived the advertisement as dehumanizing, because the black woman is headless (Salvemini 2002: 46). The second image of the two handcuffed men also raised many controversial feelings. Both men are wearing denim jeans and jackets with a lighter blue shirt underneath. Just as the black woman in the first image, the two men are headless. Combined these two facts are making it impossible, for the receiver to tell if it is two criminals or if it is a guard and a prisoner, and in the latter case who is who. Toscani did not want to discriminate against anyone, but instead he wanted to show that black and white are the same, and that racism is created by humans, so it should equally be exterminated by humans (ibid). Benettons campaign was accepted positively by Nelson Mandela, who invited Oliviero Toscani and Luciano Benetton to visit South Africa, to thank them for supporting the fight against racial discrimination. This proves the point how you can make changes in the way people think and act by raising worldwide awareness of social issues. The third image (lower left) from spring-summer 1996 shows three hearts. The denotation of the image is three human hearts, with the stating of being from respectively a white, a black and a yellow person. The connotation is that no matter the skin-color, we are all the same on the inside. The image was considered to be one of Benettons most racist, but the intention was the opposite. In actuality the hearts were pig hearts, but the image is a wonderful

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symbolic way of showing that racism is wrong, and based on the exterior of a human being, because on the inside, there is no difference (Salvemini 2002: 129). The fourth and last image (lower right) is from autumn-winter 1991 and shows a priest and a nun engaging in a kiss. The denotation of the advertisement is the priest and the nun, while the basic level of connotation is religion. The sign is the couple kissing, and the signified is love and affection. The signifiers that built this illusion are the opposites of black and white. In the analysis of the first two images, black and white related to skin-color, but in this images the black and white signify opposites in terms of religion or male vs. female. Once again the image brought a controversial response, due to the taboo of two religions colliding. Accusation of blasphemy was heard in the media, but again Benetton tried to prove the opposite, in this case affirmation of pure human sentiment (Salvemini 2002: 49-50). We cannot identify which religion the priest and the nun belong to, which gives the image the feature of aiming at religion in general and not two specific religions. Attitudes towards religion in the everyday life are very strong. One of the many rules within almost any existing religion is that relationships between different religions are taboo. The acceptance of inter- religious relationships has grown during the last few decades, but there are still religions where these relationships are not tolerated. Another connotation and interpretation could be that Toscani was aiming the image at the Catholic Churchs belief of celibacy. When somebody has devoted his or her life to God by becoming a nun, monk or priest, it is a sin to break the celibacy. As both Toscani and Benetton originate from Italy where the Catholic religion is the dominating, it is very likely that it was this interpretation Toscani was aiming for. Common to all four images of this category, is that none of them contain any text, besides the green logo with the brand name. As first stated the category is about difference, but at the same time, it is just as much about equality and indifference. The images certainly show the differences, but aims to prove a point that we are not that different. We are the same on the inside, we can be in love across religions and we can commit a crime whether we are black or white. All images were perceived as controversial, even though they were aiming to fight against racism and not to prove it.

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5.2. The cycle of reality


This category of advertisements will concentrate about the reality. For this analysis I have chosen the following five advertisements.

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The first image (upper left) is from the spring-summer 1994. The denotation is a set of bloodstained clothing. The connotation is victim of war. Opposite many other Benetton advertisements, this one contents a small piece of text, in the top of the image. The text is a long caption of typescript in an incomprehensible language. Toscani let it be known that the set of clothing belonged to the Bosnian soldier Marinko Gagro who was killed during the war in former Yugoslavia, and that the writing was in Serbo-Croat (Salvemini 2002: 115-118). The clothing is placed in a way, which shows a figure of a supine man. There is a visible slot from a bullet, through which he lost his life. Toscani had a wish to make a new campaign with connection to the Yugoslavian war. Received the clothing in a package from the father of the soldier. The father didnt want his son to have lost his life in vain. In the package followed a letter to Toscani from the father, wishing to employ the name of his son. The advertisement triggered controversy all over the world. Toscanis aim was not to shock, but to touch and move peoples consciences, at the same time as showing the reality of war (ibid). The second image (upper right) is from spring-summer 1991. The denotation of the image is a cemetery with hundreds of white crosses. The connotation is to show that many people die in war. The picture shows a World War I cemetery in France. The basic thought behind the advertisement was to show that in wartime, no matter what happens, no one really wins, because hundreds of lives are lost. The advertisement was published during the Gulf war. It was only published in one newspaper in Italy, because the others refused to print it (Salvemini 2002: 47-49). The third image (middle left) is from autumn-winter 1991. The denotation is a newborn baby girl still attached to the umbilical cord. The connotation is to celebrate the beginning of a new life. All human beings begin their life this way. The aim was intended as a celebration of life, and Toscani had a hope that it would be the first time he could reach his intended aim. But this time it became worse. It turned out to be one of the most censured visuals in the history of Benetton advertisements, even though it might the most realistic of all. Toscani introduced the baby as Giusy, which is the girls name. Despite the many complaints, Luciano Benetton was satisfied with the advertisement. He intoned the

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quotation of Simon Spies, by saying that he liked that the company was noticed, even though it was criticized (Salvemini 2002). The fourth image (middle right) is from autumn-winter 1993. The denotation is a mans nude upper body with a tattoo saying H.I.V. positive. The connotation is that this man is infected with HIV. The image serves to show awareness about the disease. The tattoo is a symbolic of the disease. A tattoo is forever and is irremovable, so is the HIV disease. The image and campaign achieved its aim. European newspapers, AIDS organizations, politicians and television stations spoke up. Toscani was both defended and hated for the campaign, but nevertheless did he achieve to create awareness and start discussions of the HIV and AIDS disease. The advertisement serves another purpose to focus on the way that many people are unfairly labeled or stereotyped (Salvemini 2002: 114-115). The fifth and last image (lower) is from spring-summer 1992. The denotation of the picture is a young man looking very sick, surrounded by his mourning family. The connotation is a family saying the last goodbye to their AIDS infected son and brother. In the spring of 1992 Toscani changed his expression: In stead of using his own photos shot in his white studio, which caused a distance in the picture, he started to use exclusively pictures that other people already had published, which intensified the expression of the photo. Side by side with this switch, the virtuous indignation intensified and reached its peak when this image of the dying AIDS patient David Kirby, surrounded by his family and a priest, was published. Benetton donated a large amount of money to educational work about AIDS, because it was the only condition from David Kirbys family, for Benetton to use the picture. As described in the chapter about shockvertising, the advertisers sometimes use fear appeals to motivate to certain action or educate about a certain danger. As in the previous advertisement about being HIV positive, Benetton wanted to educate their consumers about the danger of AIDS, and motivate them to safe sex. This message is also the connotation. It is the most moving and expressing image from the timeframe when Toscani lead the Benetton advertising. Thrse Frare originally took the photo in Ohio State Hospital, but it was Toscani who came up with the idea of implementing it in Benetton advertising. There was no additional signatures, comments or titles to the image when it was published. He desired

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the picture to speak for itself. The image angered people at how far Benetton had gone in trying to make a point. All five images show reality. Nevertheless, they are some of the images of Benetton that has met the most criticism. All images reflect life, death, war and disease in a natural way. They all show something that we can easily experience in real life, with the exception of the HIV tattoo, which serves more to prove a point and creating awareness instead of the showing of a tattoo.

5.3. The UNHATE Campaign


This category of advertisements will concentrate around the UNHATE campaign. I have chosen the following four images to be includes in my analysis.

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The analysis of the four advertisements will be concluded in one section, due to the considerable similarities between them. The first image (upper left) shows Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, and Nicolas Sarkozy, the former President of France. The second image (upper right) shows the former Pope Benedict XVI and Ahmed el Tayyeb, imam of the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. The third image (lower left) shows Kim Jong-Il, the former Supreme Leader of North Korea and Lee Myung Bak, the President of South Korea. Lastly, the fourth image (lower right) shows Barack Obama, President of the United States of America and Hugo Chvez, the former President of Venezuela. The denotation of the images is two people kissing. The connotation is controversy in terms of two opposing persons caught in an intimate kiss, which represent friendship and peace. All the persons are of great power. They are either leaders of their country or their religion. They are easy to recognize and well known. In order to understand what symbolic meaning these persons represents in the advertisements, it is not important to discuss their personality, but it is important to emphasize the fact that these pairs are from conflicting countries as South Korea and North Korea, are representing to very different religions ad the imam and the pope or are representing two different political ideologies as Merkel with Sarkozy and Obama with Chvez. Due to limitations, and irrelevance, this will not be discussed or explained any further. It is very surprising to observe two antagonists engaging in a kiss, and the kiss is simultaneously and very intimate. Kissing signifies friendliness, love and intimacy and since the kiss and intimacy appears between two publicly well-known and powerful people, it evokes an even higher curiosity, compared to if it was to strangers. The fact that the two persons engaging in the kiss in every picture are antagonists, make the advertisements very controversial, and provoke feelings of the people, who are closely and emotionally connected to the country, politic ideology or religion that the persons represents. Another sign in the advertisements is the formal outfits of the persons. This helps to reflect their identity and the high position they hold. The aim of the images is to show that no matte the country or religion, that even though everyone has different views, we should not hate (Unhate 2013). Many people did not view them as such. Just as the case with the image of a dying ADIS patient, the people said that Benetton had gone too far.

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The second image of the imam and the Pope received criticism as being blasphemy just as the picture of the priest and the nun kissing. As mentioned in the presentation of the UNHATE Foundation, the UNHATE image of the imam and Pope was removed from all publications, after the Vatican send out a threat to seek legal action (Butt 2011) It is important to point out that all images are edited, and none of these persons engaged in the kisses. The purpose of the campaign is good, as with all Benetton Campaigns. The aim is to reduce the existence of hate between countries and religions.

6. Conclusion
Quickly after Toscani became a part of Benetton, the brand became world famous for better and for worse. None of Benettons products are included in the picture, which is a common factor in Toscanis advertising expression. Everything that Oliviero Toscanis pictures and advertisements tried to reflect, were facts from all social classes, religions and races from the whole world. Controversial compared to the common type of advertising? Yes. But offensive? One might wonder why Benetton have engaged in shockvertising and continued this communication strategy despite several accusations, threats and bad press. It has always been Benettons philosophy to demonstrate a message or prove a point in their advertising. They want their advertisements to make important changes, instead of selling more sweaters. People get offended when the advertisements get too close to their everyday lives. They are most comfortable when the advertisements show a modified reality, but not the truth. The advertisements of Benetton have provoked many strong feelings since the 1980s, regarding politics, racism, life, death, HIV, AIDS, religion etc. The analysis showed a broad selection of controversial advertisements from Benetton campaigns, and explained how every single one of them had caused controversy. Often the most realistic advertisements are the ones, which offends the most, such as the newborn baby girl Giusy, or the AIDS patient, David Kirby, on his deathbed. The second category of advertisements of reality proves perfectly that the quotation of Oliviero Toscani There are no shocking pictures only shocking reality is true.

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7. References
Books: Barker, C. (2012) Cultural studies theory and practice, 4th edn. London: Sage Publications Ltd. Beck Holm, A. (2011) Videnskab I virkeligheden: En grundbog I videnskabsteori. Kbenhavn: Samfundslitteratur. Perloff, R.M. (2010) The Dynamics of Persuasion Communication and attitudes in the 21st century, 4th edn. New York: Routeledge. Salvemini, L.P (Ed.). (2002) United Colors: The Benetton Campaigns. London: Scriptum Editions. Toscani, O. (1996) Reklamens Magt. Translated by E. Ellekjr. Aarhus: Klim. Toscani, O. (1997) Oliviero Toscani Billboards. Translated by J. King. Kolding: Trapholtmuseet. Online sources: Aber.ac.uk. [online] Available at: http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/semiotic.html [Accessed 2 April 2013] Benetton (2011) Profile: Company Vision. Available at: http://www.benettongroup.com/group/profile/company-vision [Accessed 1 May 2013]. Benetton (2012) Profile: At a glance. Available at: http://www.benettongroup.com/group/profile/glance [Accessed 1 May 2013].

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Butt, R. (2011) Benetton tears down pope-kissing ads after Vatican legal threat. The Guardian, [online] 17 November 2011. Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/17/benetton-pope-kissing-ads [Accessed 5 May 2013] Colors (2013) A magazine about the rest of the world. Available at: http://www.colorsmagazine.com/about/ [Accessed 1 May 2013]. Fabrica (2012) About Fabrica. Available at: http://www.fabrica.it/about [Accessed 1 May 2013]. Johnson, C.A. (2009) Cutting Through Advertising Clutter. CBS News, [online] 11 February 2009. Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-2015684.html [Accessed 18 March 2013] Shock advertising (2012) Wikipedia. [online] last updates 28 February 2013 at 09:54. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_advertising [Accessed 18 april 2013] Spies (2011) Om Spies. 90 rs dagen frjres med gaveregn. [press release] 26 August 2011. Available at: http://www.spies.dk/pressemeddelelser/simon-spies-90-aars-dag-fejres-med- gaveregn-over-d [Accessed 5 March 2013]. Unhate (2013) About. Available at: http://unhate.benetton.com/foundation/ [Accessed 1 May 2013]. Waller, D.S. (2004) What factors make controversial advertising offensive?: A preliminary study. Unpublished thesis. School of Marketing University of Technology. Sydney, Australia.

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List of tables and figures


Tables: Table 1. Reasons for offensiveness Figures: Figure 1. Pierces triad of semiotics Figure 2. Saussures two-sided sign concept Figure 3. Saussures two-sided sign concept page 20 page 18 page 16 page 13

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