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‘Sexist’ Thong Ad Withdrawn
MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s tourist board has temporarily withdrawn an ad showing a woman’s half-naked bottom marked by the suntan outline of a thong with the slogan “Spain marks,” after a deluge of complaints that it was sexist.
The ad was pulled after protests by political and women’s groups, a spokeswoman for the tourist board Turespana said. A meeting of regional government and tourist authorities will decide whether the poster should be banned altogether.
“We asked the Women’s Institute what they thought, and they said it was positive, not sexist. In fact, there is also a version in which a man appears, so it is a balanced campaign,” the Turespana spokeswoman said.
Spain’s Women’s Institute is a department of the Social Affairs Ministry. But other women’s’ groups were not impressed.
“This resorts to the figure of a semi-naked woman as a tourist attraction, which is pitiful and it seems like we’re taking a step backwards,” said Micaela Navarro, responsible for equality issues at the main opposition Socialist party.
Tourism is Spain’s biggest industry, accounting for more than one tenth of its economy. The “Spain marks” campaign has already been launched internationally, with a series of different photographs deemed to cause less offence.