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VIRAL Obama Smooches Chávez in New Ad Benetton / AP Photo

Obama Smooches Chávez in New Ad

Is this what world peace looks like? Italian fashion brand Benetton has released a series of new print ads that show various heads of states kissing each other, each labeled with the phrase “unhate.” President Obama is matched with China's Hu Jintao and Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez; Germany’s Angela Merkel makes out with France’s Nicolas Sarkozy; and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is seen snogging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While the ads generated the firestorm of controversy that was surely intended, only one so far has been yanked: an image of the pope locking lips with Sheik Ahmed Mohamed El-Tayeb—imam of the al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. The Vatican is outraged and says its lawyers will "take action," though it's unclear whether it will sue Benetton directly for damages.

November 17, 2011 12:45 PM