Levis Blue After Withdrawing Ad Campaign In Britain | Textappeal
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Insensitive Ad Campaign In Britain

Levis Blue After Withdrawing Ad Campaign In Britain

  |   CultureShocks Blog


The News:

Recently, Levi’s decided to temporarily withdraw a campaign in the UK that showed scenes of rioting, as the company feared this would be culturally insensitive in the wake of the devastating riots that took place across Britain in August.

The minute long advert, which is Levi’s first global campaign, shows demonstrations that are said to represent May Day in Berlin, concluding with the tagline ‘go forth’. A spokesman for Levi’s said, “out of sensitivity for what is happening in the UK, we have temporarily postponed our cinema and Facebook spots in the country.”

The Levi’s spokesman also stated that “while ‘Go Forth’ is about embodying the energy and events of our time, it is not about any specific movement or political theme; rather, it’s about optimism, positive action and a pioneering spirit.”

Behind the News:

Although made before the riots began, the imagery caused outrage on fashion websites and in local publications, causing Levi’s to halt its airing on British television and cinemas.
Adweek.com stated “it’s a little risky to embrace youthful rebellion in advertising right now, given that the real world examples involve so much looting and burning.” Furthermore, the website FashionFoieGras said the clip was in “bad taste” and called for it to be “pulled from YouTube and all other platforms”.

Levi’s Chief marketing officer countered the negative reaction to the advert by stating that the video was intended to capture “youthful optimism” and ambitions of a better future, rather than encourage unrest.

Although there is no doubt that the release of this advert was unfortunately timed, it is clear that Levis are not condoning the riots that took place in the UK. By being attentive to local events and taking positive pre-emptive steps, Levis retracted the ad and prevented a culture shock.