Zara’s Controversial Ad Campaign Sparks Social Media Backlash

January 8. 2024



Fashion giant Zara faced intense backlash and swift action after releasing an ad campaign that inadvertently evoked images of the Gaza conflict, leading to widespread criticism on social media platforms.

The controversy erupted when the campaign, featuring model Kristen McMenamy in a sculptor’s studio setting, displayed damaged statues and broken plasterboard. Although Zara clarified that the images were taken before the Israel-Gaza war began in October, many social media users found the visuals distressing and offensive.


Despite Zara’s explanation that the campaign aimed to highlight craft-made garments in an artistic context, the campaign triggered a wave of criticism and a trending #BoycottZara hashtag on social media platforms, with users accusing the brand of insensitivity and making light of tragic events.


The Advertising Standards Authority received numerous complaints citing that the imagery referenced the conflict and was offensive. Although not under investigation presently, the controversy mirrors recent incidents where brands have faced backlash over inadvertently sensitive visuals related to global events.






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