Benetton's new ads seek "unemployees of the year"
By Paul Casciato
LONDON (Reuters) - Alessandro Benetton is on a mission to find a cure for the ailing global economy and he's asking 100 million or so jobless young people to chip in with ideas.
The 48-year-old chairman of Benetton Group launched the family business's latest "UNHATE" advertising campaign on Tuesday, highlighting the plight of unemployed people under 30 who are striving to find meaningful work every day.
Benetton believes the generation appearing in a market-place where the old economic models are not providing them with the kinds of opportunities that kept their fathers in work for decades need to be tapped for ideas.
"In the history of the world ... the great inventions, great leadership, the great differences were always made by people under 30 years old," the slender scion of one of Italy's best known family retail brands told Reuters.
"Now I don't think we can look into this unknown future unless we talk to these people."
The ads and video which show determined young people at protests, in work attire waiting for interviews or at the unemployment office are bound to be less controversial than Benetton's last campaign.
That resulted in the company agreeing in May to make a donation to a Catholic charity to end a legal dispute with the Vatican over an advertisement that showed Pope Benedict kissing an imam on the lips.
The latest global campaign will consist of posters, t-shirts, a film and a contest to choose 100 "unemployees of the year" who will each receive 5,000 euros ($6,600) for their pet projects. Continued...