Paris Hilton too hot for Brazil? Gov't protests
RIO DE JANEIRO: Paris Hilton is giving blondes a bad name.
So says Brazil's Secretariat for Women's Affairs, which wants a sultry beer commercial starring the hotel heiress, model and actor off the air.
The ad features Hilton in a short black dress preening and rubbing a can of Devassa beer on herself, to the delight of onlookers watching through her window.
The commercial isn't very explicit — especially in a land where postage-stamp-size bikinis are ubiquitous. But Brazil's regulations say beer commercials cannot treat women as overtly sensual objects.
"It's an ad that devalues women — in particular, blond women," according to a spokeswoman for the Women's Secretariat who said it received numerous complaints. She spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because she was not free to discuss the case
Many Brazilian beer ads feature women in bikinis — but a key difference is that those are set on the beach, said Eduardo Correia, a spokesman for the regulator Conar, which has opened three separate investigations into the campaign.
"The problem with the ad isn't a lack of clothing, but its sensual nature," Correia said. "A woman in a bikini on a beach isn't necessarily sensual; it depends on the context."
Conar is a private agency that cannot legally force a company to remove an ad. But Correia said that in 23 years of existence, Conar has conducted more than 7,000 investigations and not one of its recommendations has been ignored.
Devassa, which means "naughty" in the most gentle of translations, is made by Grupo Schincariol. Calls to the company were not immediately returned Thursday.
Devassa's "Bem Loura" — "Very Blond" — beer also features an Internet campaign with Hilton wearing lingerie and high heels.
Hilton was in Brazil last week during Carnival for the opening of the ad campaign. Photos in local newspapers showed her crawling on the floor in a VIP room during the extravagant samba parades.