What says love like a heart made of condoms?
The "Give Love - Get Love" campaign, sponsored by Armani Exchange
and the National AIDS Fund, hopes to raise awareness about the
prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
The hearts, each made of more than 200 condoms, are in the
windows of Armani Exchange stores across the country. In other
cities, they've come under fire from critics who found them
tacky, intrusive and offensive.
But at the Galleria this morning, most shoppers walked by without
Many thought the condoms were just red circles or small, colored
"Until you said something, I didn't even notice they were made of
condoms," said Wenda Blankenship, 54.
"I do think it is inappropriate though. Sex is meant to be
private. It doesn't need to be on display."
Some U.S. malls have pulled the displays from Armani Exchange
But AIDS awareness groups say the hearts convey a strong message
to adults and youths alike.
"It raises consciousness about the issue," said Fernie Sanchez, a
supervisor at AIDS Arms Inc., based in Dallas.
"At the very least, they are talking about it, whether they agree
or disagree with the campaign."
Still, Sanchez said he understood why some parents might be
Frank discussions about sex and disease are needed, he said. Many
times, though, "parents would rather do that on their own time in
their own homes.
"But the reality is some parents don't talk to their kids about
Mary Will, 56, of Dallas said she wasn't offended by the display
and probably wouldn't have noticed it if not for TV new reports.
"And I don't think a child would know what it was," she said.