Olivero Toscani splits with Benetton after 18-year stint

Olivero Toscani, the creative director and photographer behind Benetton’s controversial advertising campaigns, has split with the company after 18 years.

Olivero Toscani, the creative director and photographer behind

Benetton’s controversial advertising campaigns, has split with the

company after 18 years.



Toscani’s most recent work featured photographs of 26 convicts on Death

Row. The campaign, which broke in January, caused outrage around the

world and lost Benetton a lucrative contract with the US department

store chain Sears Roebuck.



Benetton has yet to face a lawsuit from the state of Missouri, which

claims it was deceived by the law professor who arranged Toscani’s Death

Row visits.



Benetton released a statement thanking the photographer for his

’fundamental contribution to the ’new’ advertising’ but failed to give a

reason for his departure.



Advertising for Benetton will now be handled by the company’s

communications research centre, Fabrica.



The Italian clothing manufacturer has not yet decided whether to replace

Toscani.



Toscani’s statement was similarly enigmatic. The photographer said:

’Nothing is for ever. It’s good to have the courage to end something

that was fantastic and still have the enthusiasm to take on new

projects.’



He is expected to concentrate on his role as creative director of Tina

Brown’s US-based Talk magazine.



Benetton, which has never hired an advertising agency, spends less than

pounds 1 million a year on advertising in the UK, but its press and

poster campaigns provoke enough controversy to earn the company vast

amounts of publicity through press coverage.



Previous Benetton campaigns have featured images of a dying Aids victim,

the blood-stained uniform of a dead soldier and a new-born baby still

covered in amniotic fluid, with its umbilical chord intact.



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