brand | Industry Updates

Zara Faces Boycott Over Controversial Ad Campaign

Published: January 2, 2024
Author: Fashion Value Chain

Zara recently faced controversy as it removed a contentious advertising campaign from its website due to calls for a boycott from pro-Palestine activists. Inditex, the parent company, asserted that this change was a regular part of updating content and clarified that the campaign’s photos were taken in September, preceding the current conflict.

The advertising series, featuring mannequins with missing limbs and statues wrapped in white shrouds, drew criticism from activists who found visual parallels with Israel’s actions in Gaza, where significant casualties have occurred. Zara, however, insisted that the campaign’s concept was conceived in July and the photographs captured in September, drawing inspiration from historical men’s tailoring.

Despite widespread calls for a boycott on social media platforms, Zara has yet to officially comment on the matter. On Instagram, tens of thousands of comments flooded in, many adorned with Palestinian flags, and the hashtag “BoycottZara” trended on messaging platforms. This incident follows a previous boycott in 2022 when some Palestinians burned Zara clothing after a franchise owner in Israel hosted an event for an ultra-right-wing politician, Itamar Ben-Gvir. At that time, Ben-Gvir defended Zara on social media, emphasizing its fashion appeal to Israelis.

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