RIO DE JANEIRO: Adidas has scrapped a raunchy World Cup T-shirt after a complaint by the Brazilian government that it undermined a campaign against sexual tourism.
The sportswear giant did so while insisting that the T-shirt had been a limited edition only in the United States.
One shirt shows a bikini-clad woman with open arms on a sunny Rio de Janeiro beach under the caption: “Looking to Score.” The other has an: “I love Brazil” heart resembling the upside-down buttocks of a woman wearing a thong bikini bottom.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff noted her concerns via Twitter while the tourist board, Embratur, registered a formal complaint with the company.
Adidas is a major and long-term sponsor of the World Cup and producer of the match for the finals which open in Sao Paulo in June.
Tourist board president Flavio Dino said: “Embratur strongly repudiates the sale of products that link Brazil’s image to sexual appeal.
“Embratur works to combat this type of case, particularly with regard to the commodification and commercialization of the female body. The Brazilian people and especially the Brazilian woman deserves respect.”
Rousseff said: “Brazil is happy to receive tourists for the World Cup, but it is also ready to combat sex tourism.”
Brazil has said it expects 600,000 World Cup tourists but the likely total is nearer half of that.
The Ministry of Women’s affairs said the shirts were not just offensive to Brazilian women but exposed them to the “barbarism” of sexual predators.
A statement added: “This is all the more shocking in a country that just elected a women as its highest authority, which brought greater respect for women and zero tolerance for any form of violence against them.