Zara "regrets" a "misunderstanding" regarding an advertising campaign that was criticised for incorporating images that bore resemblance to Syria-Gaza conflict photographs.
It has removed the remaining images after days of social media backlash and complaints to the advertising watchdog in the United Kingdom. A model was depicted in one image bearing a mannequin encased in white plastic.
Zara stated that some consumers perceived "items that were diametrically opposed to their original intent." A number of social media users had advocated for a social media boycott against the fashion retailer.
The advertisement for Zara's Atelier line, according to the brand, was "conceived in July and photographed in September."
1200 individuals were killed when Hamas launched an assault on Israel on October 7. In retaliation, Israel launched assaults on Gaza, which the health ministry in the territory, which is controlled by Hamas, estimates have killed approximately 18,200 people.
The "The Jacket" advertising campaign by Zara featured a sequence of photographs featuring the model set against a backdrop comprised of shattered plasterboard, cracked stones, and damaged statuary.
Certain individuals on social media speculated that they resembled images emanating from Gaza. However, Zara refuted this, stating that the campaign "featured a sequence of photographs depicting incomplete sculptures within the studio of a sculptor and was exclusively designed to exhibit handcrafted apparel within an artistic framework."
Zara stated in a statement released several days subsequent to the initial emergence of the controversy: " Regrettably, certain clientele were provoked by these now-deleted images and perceived something entirely different from their original intent when they were produced. "We apologise for the misunderstanding that occurred, and we would want to reiterate our profound respect for everyone."
After receiving allegations that it had posted an Instagram photo of Christmas party hats in the colours of the Palestinian flag that were on fire, M&S issued an apology in the month of November.
The photograph, which was taken from a Christmas advertisement that was shot in August, displayed paper hats printed in red, green, and silver that were ablaze in a fireplace.
With the intention of "playfully showing that some people don't appreciate wearing paper Christmas hats," M&S stated that this was their intention. However, in response to constructive criticism from users on social media, the company issued the following statement: "We have withdrawn the post following feedback and we apologies for any accidental hurt caused."
According to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), it had received 116 complaints over the advertisement that M&S had published.
Across social media and television, the campaign that Zara ran has resulted in 110 complaints being filed with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which is presently conducting an investigation into the matter.
"Complainants believe that the imagery reflects the present Israel-Hamas conflict and is inflammatory," said a spokesperson for the advertising authority. "The imagery is offensive."
Zara stated that the "The Jacket" campaign was "an exercise in concentrated design that is meant to display the finest components of Zara's creative and production capabilities, Zara Atelier offers one garment, six ways - and with endless possibilities." This statement was made prior to the response that the campaign received.