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  • Writer's pictureThe Merge

#BoycottZara: All You Need to Know About Zara's New Ad Campaign

Controversy Unraveled: Zara's 'The Jacket' Campaign and Its Alleged Mockery of Gaza's Plight


Zara, the Spanish fashion retailer, is currently facing significant backlash over its latest advertising campaign titled "The Jacket." This controversy stems from the campaign's imagery, which critics argue bears a striking resemblance to the destruction in Gaza.



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The campaign is part of Zara's Atelier series, intended to celebrate the brand's commitment to craftsmanship and artistic expression. However, the images, featuring model Kristen McMenamy posing among the rubble and with mannequins wrapped in white cloth and plastic, have drawn widespread criticism for their perceived insensitivity and depiction of scenes reminiscent of Gaza's devastation​​​​.


The campaign has prompted accusations of mocking the devastation in Gaza, with some elements in the visuals, such as rocks, rubble, and a cardboard cutout, being compared to an upside-down map of Palestine.


Boycott Zara Campaign
A picture posted by Zara for the campaign that has now been deleted.

This portrayal, particularly the mannequins wrapped in white that resemble bodies in Islamic burial attire, has ignited calls for a boycott of Zara on social media platforms.


Palestinian artist Hazem Harb and influencers Dr. Noor Amra and Dr. Hina Cheema are among those who have condemned the campaign, urging consumers to boycott Zara for using imagery of death and destruction as a backdrop for fashion.



The outcry over the campaign has been so severe that Zara has reportedly deleted some of the controversial images from its social media platforms, although the company has not yet responded publicly to the backlash​​​​.


This incident has resulted in a significant negative impact on Zara's brand sentiments. According to media intelligence firm CARMA, Zara's brand sentiments plummeted to 76.4% negative following the release of the ad, a stark contrast to the previously more balanced sentiment. The controversy has shifted the conversation around Zara, with terms like "boycott," "disgusting," "outrage," and "genocide" becoming prevalent in the discourse surrounding the brand.


twitter grab over new zara caption


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This backlash is not isolated to this incident; in 2022, Zara faced condemnation for perceived support for Israel when its franchise holder in the region engaged with extremist political figures​​.


The situation highlights the complexities and sensitivities involved in fashion advertising, where creative expression can intersect with political and social issues, leading to public outcry and potential damage to a brand's reputation.


This controversy underscores the delicate balance that brands must maintain when crafting their advertising campaigns. In an era where consumers are increasingly aware and concerned about global issues, brands are expected to navigate these waters with care, ensuring that their creative choices do not unintentionally offend or alienate significant portions of their audience. It also highlights the evolving nature of brand accountability, where companies are not just judged on the quality of their products, but also on the values and sensitivities they reflect in their marketing efforts.


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