Zara pulls controversial campaign claiming 'misunderstanding' after calls for boycott

Zara Pulls Controversial Campaign Claiming 'Misunderstanding' After Calls For Boycott
The Spanish fashion brand received thousands of complaints over the images released as part of its Atelier campaign, while #BoycottZara trended on X. Photo: PA Images
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Fashion brand Zara has said it regretted the "misunderstanding" over an ad campaign featuring statues wrapped in white which triggered calls for a boycott by some pro-Palestinian activists, and it had removed the images.

People left tens of thousands of complaints about the campaign on Zara's Instagram account, saying the images resembled photos of corpses in white shrouds in Gaza, while #BoycottZara trended on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.


Zara's announcement illustrates the challenge for global brands navigating the sensitivities around the Gaza war. Zara is the first major Western brand to take such a drastic step after criticism for what some saw as insensitive advertising.

Zara said the campaign, which also featured mannequins with missing limbs, had been conceived in July and photographed in September, before the conflict erupted in October, and was meant to show unfinished sculptures in a sculptor's studio.

"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 said in an Instagram post.

The images were used "with the sole purpose of showcasing craftmade garments in an artistic context", it added.

"Zara regrets that misunderstanding, and we reaffirm our deep respect towards everyone," the brand said.

Six posts showcasing the campaign were scrubbed from Zara's Instagram page, and parent company Inditex said the photos have been pulled from all platforms. Zara had already pulled the Atelier photoshoot from its website and app home pages on Monday. -Reuters

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