Unemployee of the Year

Famous for their thought-provoking advertising, United Colours of Benetton have launched a new ad campaign in conjuction with organisation UNHate. The multinational clothing company has introduced a scheme called ‘Unemployee of the Year’, which offers funding and support to 100 talented but unemployed youths.
As with the majority of their previous campaigns the aim is to challenge the stigma and pre-conceptions surrounding a group of people, this time so-called ‘Neets’ (those Not in Education, Employment or Training). The problem is, lots of people have argued that the campaign is not challenging, thought-provoking or even interesting; some have gone so far as to name it the most boring campaign staged in the company’s 47-year history. Pictured above, the ads feature some slickly dressed, ‘camera-friendly’ unemployed teens – far from the controversy of their previous ideas. Their 2011 campaign featured a doctored picture of pope Benedict XVI kissing imam Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb; needless to say it was only a matter of hours before it had to be taken down.     
A study this year has found some interesting results regarding corporate social responsibility, as a recent Guardian article stated:
‘66% of consumers around the world prefer to buy from companies that have implemented programmes to give back to society. Further, 46% claim to be willing to pay more for products from these companies. Being seen to do good is now seen as good business’.
Regardless of their motives, Benetton are committing to donating $500,000 worth of funding to benefit youth and the community. I’m sure the money will do the world of good, but it may be more because of the passion of the young people, and less because of the influence of a store whose cardigans cost £65.00 a pop.

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