August 17, 2011

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Levi’s has withdrawn the controversial “Legacy” ad, with its depiction of youth clashing with police, and streets filled with riot gas; the ad was criticized for mirroring the unrest in London. The spot, featuring a narrator reading from Charles Bukowski’s “The Laughing Heart,” shows imagery of young people reveling in moments of freedom and behaving defiantly in front of authority, with lines like “You can’t beat death, but you can beat death in life, sometimes.” The campaign, which marks Levi’s foray into global advertising, suffered from bad timing--Levi's was poised to release the ad on television and in cinemas this summer. A spokesman from Levi Strauss said “Legacy” was meant to capture a spirit of optimism and youthful energy, not to incite violence. Watch the ad here: do you think it needed to be postponed in light of the riots?
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