One doesn't get attention for free nowadays, you have to do something to deserve it. Marketers have known that for a long time - that's why they keep re-inventing themselves.

While shocking images festooned on large Benetton ads left their mark on the '90s, today's marketing strategists are weaving no less radical a spell over involved consumers with relationship-building buzz marketing and targeted cooperations.

The Düsseldorf-based NRW-Forum ( is showing highlights from the recent history of advertising at its Radical Advertising exhibition from April 5 to August 17. In addition to the Benetton campaign, the show features promotions by Diesel, Helmut Lang, Nike, Chanel, Calvin Klein, American Apparel and Comme des Garcons, along with works by Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons that pillory modern media. A Comme des Garcons guerilla store has also been integrated and forms the centerpiece of the event.

Photo: one of Diesel’s controversial ad campaigns