Benetton is stoking fresh umbrage after a new children’s clothing advert employing three boys captioned ‘Sorry ladies. Girls not allowed!’
The ‘sexist’ piece drew immediate criticism from parents and a subsequent apology on Benetton’s Instagram account amidst accusations that the Italian fashion house was excluding girls from wearing its wares.
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Addressing its critics via a follow-up Instagram message Benetton wrote: “We're very sorry that our message struck the wrong chord with some of you. We only meant to be playful in this post, and we apologise if we have unintentionally offended anyone. We certainly did not intend it to be sexist.”
The fashion house is currently promoting its SS17 collection with a relatively straight campaign, having ditched the so-called ‘shockvertising’ for which it had become famous.
Benetton has in fact adopted a more inclusive stance in recent months, including a celebration of racial diversity in ‘The Face of the City’ campaign and a long-running female empowerment programme launched in 2015.