SNP’s word of the day: Unhate

Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Unhate


Definition: A Toni Braxton-esque made-up word to sell sweaters and preach social tolerance.

You should know it because: As reported yesterday, Benetton is back! And “Unhate” is the name of their newest, bestest, sell-clothes-and-break-rules-iest ad campaign. It’s been way, way too long since Benetton made your parents mad (remember the anorexic victim on a billboard? the man dying of AIDS? YIKES.), so long that I worried they’d lost the touch. But no. “Unhate” is based around the vaguely outlined “Unhate Foundation,” which “seeks to contribute to the creation of a new culture of tolerance, to combat hatred, building on Benetton’s underpinning values.” Okay, but all anyone’s talking about is that one print ad where the Pope‘s totally frenching a major Egyptian imam, Ahmed el-Tayeb. The Vatican’s already condemned the ad, but like, the Vatican has condemned everything from in-vitro fertilization to the second Twilight movie to selfishness so: good luck, kids. The print ad may be pulled, but it’ll live longer than ten thousand Mother Teresas online. If anything, this Pope-and-circumstance is exactly what Benetton wanted, just like M.I.A. wanted her 2010 ginger-cide video to get banned, and Salman Rushdie only won the Man Booker for Midnight’s Children because Satanic Verses got him a nice big fatwa. If there’s one thing this commercial provocateur really, really unhates, it’s a super-bankable, entirely DIY scandal. Unhate purports to be the opposite of love, but it’s also synonymous with love’s other opposite: money.

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