Mozambique: Brewing company withdraws sexist adverts

Mozambique: Brewing company withdraws sexist adverts

Date: October 4, 2011
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The brewing company Cervejas de Mocambique (CDM – Beers of Mozambique), which is the local subsidiary of South African Breweries, has withdrawn sexist advertisements promoting its Laurentina Preta brand of dark beer.

The advert outraged Mozambican women’s and human rights organisations, because of its use of the female body. It depicts the image of a woman, apparently writhing or dancing, but without head, arms or legs. The Laurentina Preta trademark was printed over the public region of the headless and limbless woman.

The pretext for the advert was that Laurntina Preta now comes in a new, supposedly more convenient half litre bottle, which the CDM managers describe as a “sexier” bottle.

The wording on the advert is “This Preta has gone from good to better”. This is a sexual innuendo – since the Portuguese term “preta” (black) is not merely used of beer, but is also slang for a black woman.

Faced with a storm of protest from feminist organisations, CDM has retreated, and says that it is “provisionally withdrawing” the advert.

A statement from Ogilvy-Mozambique, the advertising agency used by CDM, declared “our client has provisionally suspended the Laurentina Preta campaign because a group of consumers feels offended by this campaign. Since CDM thinks its advertising should please and not displease, the Laurentina Preta campaign will be reassessed and tested among consumers”.

Graca Samo, the executive director of the Women’s Forum, an umbrella body of Mozambican women’s organisations, cited in Thursday’s issue of the daily paper “Noticias”, described the CDM climbdown as a victory for civil society. She hoped it would be a lesson to other companies who use images of women for commercial purposes. Click here to read article


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