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Business News/ News / World/  Zara withdraws controversial ad after protests over alleged mocking of Gaza victims
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Zara withdraws controversial ad after protests over alleged mocking of Gaza victims

Criticism surfaced online, with allegations that one picture from Zara's promotional images depicted a model holding a wrapped-up mannequin resembled the scene of a Gaza citizen carrying their dead child

A person waves a Palestinian flag during a protest in support of Palestinians in Gaza following complaints over Zara's online campaign, in Tunis, Tunisia December 11, 2023 in this still image obtained from social media video. (Reyad Belkacem via REUTERS)Premium
A person waves a Palestinian flag during a protest in support of Palestinians in Gaza following complaints over Zara's online campaign, in Tunis, Tunisia December 11, 2023 in this still image obtained from social media video. (Reyad Belkacem via REUTERS)

Spanish brand Zara has retracted promotional images following backlash over alleged references to the Gazan casualties in Israel's conflict with Hamas, AP reported. The advertising campaign, featuring a collection of jackets, included visuals labelled as "unfinished sculptures in a sculptor's studio."

However, criticism surfaced online, with some claiming that one picture depicting a model holding a wrapped-up mannequin resembled the scene of a Gaza citizen carrying their dead child, it said. Other snapshots also showed mannequins with absent limbs and a figure draped in fabric or plastic on the ground, as detailed in various news sources.

The Apology

In response, Zara on December 13 issued an apology on Instagram, explaining that the campaign was conceptualized in July and photographed in September. "Unfortunately, some customers felt offended by these images, which have now been removed, and saw in them something far from what was intended when they were created," the Zara statement read.

The company defended its campaign as crafted "solely to present handmade garments within an artistic setting." It added that the images were misconstrued by critics, who "interpreted them in a manner far from their original intent."

It also expressed regret for the "misunderstanding" and reiterated its "deep respect towards everyone".

Zara is owned by Spain's Inditex, the world's biggest fashion retailer. When the war in Gaza began, Indidex temporarily closed its 84 Zara shops in Israel for an undefined period, AFP reported.

Also Read | Israel-Hamas war day 68: World calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza; US warns Israel is losing support. 10 updates

Joe Biden Warns Benjamin Netanyahu

US President Joe Biden has warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Israel's military strategy in Gaza. Biden's comments emphasised the risk of losing global support due to Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing".

Biden highlighted the initial global backing for Israel following the Hamas attacks on October 7, which killed 1,200 people in Israel. But, opinions are shifting. "But they're starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place," AFP quoted Biden as saying.

The Gaza Health Ministry reported over 18,400 fatalities. Most of them are civilians killed in Israeli bombardment.

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Published: 13 Dec 2023, 08:41 AM IST
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