Brazil is just about the last place on the planet I would expect a sexy commercial starring Paris Hilton to ruffle feathers. I mean, it’s the land of Carnival and the itty-bitty-teeny-weeny bikini. But, a TV spot featuring a fully-clothed Hilton ambling about a beachside apartment while running a dripping-wet can of Devassa beer along her body, has indeed sparked plenty outrage.
Brazil’s Secretariat for Women’s Affairs said in a statement that “it devalues women — in particular blond women” and called for it to be yanked from the air. A spokesman for a private ad regulation firm, which actually has tremendous pull in the country, explained the seeming contradiction between Brazil’s sizzling image and the recent outrage: ”The problem with the ad isn’t a lack of clothing, but its sensual nature. A woman in a bikini on a beach isn’t necessarily sensual; it depends on the context.” According to the Washington Post, the company has “opened three separate investigations into the campaign.” Three. Separate. Investigations.
Now, take a look at the ad below and tell me this isn’t a tempest in a beer can.