Benetton Group S.p.A. (BNG) is a global upmarket clothing brand, based in Treviso, Italy. The name comes from four members of the Benetton family who founded the company in 1965. Benetton Group is listed on the Borsa Italiana, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
Its core business is clothing with the casual line marketed as the "United Colors of Benetton," a fashion oriented "Sisley" division, "Playlife" leisurewear, and "Killer Loop" streetwear brands. Their products include womenswear, menswear, childrenswear and underwear and they have recently expanded into toiletries, perfumes, exclusive watches and items for the home such as kitchen accessories and baby products.
Benetton has been known in the United States for producing a long-running series of controversial, sometimes offensive, advertisements that have caused a number of media critics to accuse the company of deliberately creating controversy in order to sell its products. This publicity campaign originated when photographer Oliviero Toscani was given carte blanche by the Benetton managment. The ads entitled "United Colors of Benetton," have included images that are apparently unrelated to the clothes sold by the company, including scenes of people dying of AIDS, panicking crowds jumping off of a sinking ship, a bloody, unwashed newborn baby, and a death row inmate. The only caption included in these pictures is the Benetton logo.