To accent bruises, try this top in aubergine?

Not so fast: Benetton, and bloggers, get punk'd by fake domestic violence awareness campaign.

Published May 30, 2007 3:18PM (EDT)

Before you form an opinion about Benetton's "Colors of Domestic Violence" public service/awareness raising/ad campaign -- and many people have -- there's something you should know: The ads aren't by Benetton. After spying the ads, which feature pouty, visibly bruised models, and the reaction they have provoked online (insert color puns: "readers saw red," etc., etc.), I contacted Benetton -- a company with a history of provocative ads -- to find out more about its vision for this campaign. The response: What campaign? According to Anissa Nouhi, senior fashion public relations manager for Benetton USA Corp., the company does all its advertising in-house (not with McCann-Erickson, to whom one site attributed the series), and the only project it has done on domestic violence awareness was a collaboration with Colors magazine in 2003. Nouhi has alerted company headquarters in Italy, where -- international intrigue! -- people are now working to find out who's responsible. So there you go. You heard it here. You can comment on the Dove armpit-hair awareness campaign instead.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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