Vatican City, Nov 17 : The Benetton clothing company has withdrawn an ad showing Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam on the lips after the Vatican denounced it as an "unacceptable" provocation.
Benetton had said its "UNHATE" campaign launched yesterday is aimed at fostering tolerance and "global love."
The campaign's fake photos show a half-dozen purported political nemeses in lip-locked embraces, including President Barack Obama and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The photo of the pope had been on the company's website all day but was pulled about an hour after the Vatican's protest. A Benetton spokesman confirmed to The Associated Press that the pope ad is no longer part of the campaign.