Zara is facing a backlash about an advertising campaign which some people claim resembles images from the Israel-Gaza war.

Zara advert accused of resembling Gaza images
Zara advert accused of resembling Gaza images

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had received 50 complaints about the social media campaign called “The Jacket”.

One image shows the model holding a mannequin wrapped in what appears to be white plastic.

Zara declined to comment.

In a series of images, the model is pictured against a background of cracked stones, damaged statues and broken plasterboard.

Some on social media have suggested they are similar to images emerging from Gaza following Israeli bombing in retaliation for the 7 October attack by Hamas when 1,200 people were killed.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza has said Israel has killed about 18,000 people.

The campaign for Zara’s Atelier line is no longer on the company’s app or website.

The BBC understands the advertising campaign was conceived in July and filmed in September, before the Israel-Gaza war began.

Some images appear to have been removed from Zara’s Instagram account, though others remain.

In the comments several users call for a boycott of the firm.

One Zara shop in Spain has a window display with some props similar to those used in the campaign.

The company describes its thinking behind “The Jacket” as “an exercise in concentrated design that is conceived to showcase the finest aspects of Zara’s creative and manufacturing capabilities, Zara Atelier offers one garment, six ways – and with unlimited possibilities”.

A spokesperson for the ASA said: “We’ve received 50 complaints about this ad. Complainants argue that the imagery references the current Israel-Hamas conflict and is offensive.”

The spokesperson added that the ASA was reviewing the complaints but was not currently investigating the advert.

Recently, M&S apologised after the retailer was accused of posting an Instagram photo of Christmas party hats in the colours of the Palestinian flag on fire.

The ASA said that it had received 116 complaints about the image.

It said that following a review, it determined that M&S had not broken ASA rules and “no additional investigation was warranted”.

Nevertheless, M&S said it had “removed the post following feedback and we apologise for any unintentional hurt caused”.

Zara’s Spanish parent company, Inditex, is scheduled to announce its latest quarterly results on Wednesday.

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