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12 August 2011

Levi’s pulls “riot“ ad campaign

UK launch of advert showing rebellious youths clashing with riot police is postponed after recent ev

By Samira Shackle

Oh dear. Levi’s has impeccable timing. It’s first ever global campaign, “Go Forth”, sort of, er, romanticises rioting. The ad campaign, which launched on Facebook on Monday and was due to run on UK television and in cinemas later this month, features a young man squaring up to a row of riot police.

However, after this week’s events, the British ad premiere will be postponed. The company said it had made the move out of “sensitivity” and that the scenes were intended “in the spirit of positive action and optimism”.

While advertisers are keen to tap into the spirit of the age, once can’t help but note that this upheaval involved the looting of high street stores, which makes it, ironically, antithetical to the company’s interests.

The video, which launched online on Monday, has already been edited to remove some of the most contentious scenes, which are eerily similar to events in London:

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However, a young man facing down riot police still appears 47 seconds into the ad:

 

The campaign will go ahead in all other countries.