20th June 2024
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Spanish retail giant Zara pulls adverts likened to images from Gaza bombings

The Spanish fashion retail giant Zara, owned by Inditex, has pulled an advertising campaign that featured pictures of statues wrapped in white which critics said resembled images of corpses in white shrouds in Gaza.

Zara issued a statement on its Instagram account (see below) saying it regretted a ‘misunderstanding’ about the pictures which ignited a firestorm online and brought calls for a boycott by pro-Palestinian activists.

Zara said that some customers ‘saw in them something far from what was intended when they were created’. It also said that the campaign was created before the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October, and the subsequent bombings by the Israelis of the Gaza Strip.

‘The campaign, that was created in July and photographed in September, presents a series of images of unfinished sculptures in a sculptor’s studio and was created with the sole purpose of showcasing craftmade garments in an artitistic context,’ the short statement read. 

‘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,’ it added. ‘Zara regrets that misunderstanding and we reaffirm our deep respect towards everyone.’

In one of the images a model carries a mannequin wrapped in white. In another, a bust lies on the floor, while a third features a mannequin with no arms.

People left tens of thousands of complaints about the campaign on Zara’s Instagram account, claiming that the images resembled photos of corpses in white shrouds in Gaza.  

Six posts showcasing the campaign have since been deleted from Zara’s Instagram page. The photos, which featured on Zara’s online store home page on Monday morning, were no longer visible on the website or on its app by 12.30pm on Tuesday.

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