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Benetton set for brand refresh as new chairman takes the helm

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 4, 2013 | 2 min read

Italian clothing brand Benetton is to go back to basics with a campaign geared toward knitwear after its new boss, Alessandro Benetton, conceded that the firm had failed to keep pace with industry rivals under his father.

The firm, once known for its provocative ad campaigns including an Aids activist on his deathbed and a baby still attached to its umbilical cord with the words black, white and yellow written on it, has in recent years pursued a more politically correct strategy – most famously with its Unhate campaign depicting various well known rivals embracing.

It ultimately proved to be a flop in terms of sales however, stagnant at 2bn euros, prompting a change of tack from Benetton’s new head.

Amongst a raft of initiatives launched by the new chairman are online sales, new collections and a store closure programme in Italy.

Speaking to The Times Benetton said: “The market is offering a lot of ideas that are putting Benetton under pressure”, adding: “We have been really good in using this old machine for a longer time than necessary… I mean that we have used this formula that has been so successful for a long period of time.”

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