A sexy ad for a brand of beer featuring Paris Hilton bending over in provocative poses is reportedly raising the ire of Brazilian authorities, who want to see it pulled off the air. The spot, which shows the US socialite and celebrity strutting around a Rio apartment in a tiny black dress while a peeping-tom neighbour snaps pictures, is being investigated by Conar, the self-regulator for Brazil’s ad industry, and the government’s women’s rights special secretariat. According to the website of the news magazine Veja, the ad, for national beer brand Devassa, is being seen as both sexist and demeaning to women – quite a feat in Brazil, where all sorts of ads regularly feature women in tiny bikinis.
The ad shows Hilton, 29, in a short black dress preening and rubbing a can of Devassa beer on herself, to the delight of onlookers watching through her window. Even though the ad may not initially appear very explicit, Brazil’s regulations say beer commercials cannot treat women as overtly sensual objects. “It’s an ad that devalues women – in particular, blonde women,” the Telegraph quoted a spokeswoman for the Women’s Secretariat who said it had received numerous complaints. Eduardo Correia, a spokesman for the regulator Conar, which has opened three separate investigations into the campaign, said many Brazilian beer ads feature women in bikinis – but a key difference is that those are set on the beach. “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,” he added. Conar is a private agency that cannot legally force a company to remove an advert. 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. Grupo Schincariol makes Devassa, which can also be translated as “naughty”, and Devassa’s “Bem Loura” beer, meaning “Very Blond”, also features an Internet campaign with Hilton wearing lingerie and high heels.