March 2, 2010 in Features

Bringing oversight to the blond

Bradley Brooks Associated Press
 

Hilton
(Full-size photo)

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 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,” said a spokeswoman for the Women’s Secretariat, which received numerous complaints.

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 Conar has conducted more than 7,000 investigations and not one of its recommendations has been ignored.

Devassa means “naughty” in the most gentle of translations. Its “Bem Loura” (“Very Blond”) beer also features an Internet campaign with Hilton wearing lingerie and high heels.

The birthday bunch

Musician Doc Watson is 87. Author Tom Wolfe is 80. Author John Irving is 68. Singer Lou Reed is 68. Actress-comedian Laraine Newman is 58. Singer Jay Osmond (The Osmonds) is 55. Singer Jon Bon Jovi is 48. Actor Daniel Craig is 42. Singer Chris Martin (Coldplay) is 33. Actor Robert Iler (“The Sopranos” is 25.

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