Gisele Bundchen has got entangled in a controversy in Brazil because of her latest project. The 31-year-old supermodel starred in a series of provocative TV ads for lingerie company Hope, and in one, she strips down to her skimpy underwear before telling her husband a bad news that she crashed his car again.
Government officials from the women's secretariat in Brasilia responded by branding the ad as "sexist" and demanding for it to be banned. "The campaign promotes the misguided stereotype of a woman as a sexual object of her husband and ignores the major advances we have achieved in deconstructing sexist practices and thinking," they said in a statement.
The secretariat also claimed to have received at least six complaints from outraged viewers. "The model, Gisele Bundchen, encourages Brazilian women to use their 'charm' ... to lessen possible reactions from their partners," they additionally stated before noting that the ad contained "discriminatory content against women".
Hope has since hit back with a statement that the ad was "never intended to come across as sexist". The lingerie company's director, Sandra Chayo, said, "Gisele can testify that all of the situations shown in the campaign are jokes about daily life ... in no way should they be taken as being depreciative of the feminine figure."
Sandra continued, "It would be absurd for us, who make a living off the preferences of women, to do anything to devalue our main consumer." She also said the ad had a "clear and well-defined goal to show, with good humor, that the natural sensuality of Brazilian women, which is known worldwide, can be an effective weapon when giving bad news."
While Gisele has yet to address the controversy, her twin sister and representative in Brazil, Patricia Bundchen, said, "The advertising campaign's proposal was presented to us and we considered it as a satire, a joke. We regret that something that was supposed to be fun ended up having another interpretation."