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Brazil pulls 'Happy Prostitute' ad after complaints

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   June 5, 2013 at 12:09 PM   |   Comments

The Brazilian Health Ministry has pulled an ad campaign titled "I'm happy being a prostitute," following complaints after the spot's online trial.

The ad, which aimed to reduce prejudice against sex workers, was part of a larger campaign with the goal of educating people about sexually-transmitted diseases.

But critics said the ad glorified prostitution, and Health Minister Alexandre Padilha quickly agreed, saying, "I do not think this is a message the ministry should be sending."

Padilha said he never approved the advertisement, which was being tested on the ministry's website, and wasn't meant to be published.

"For as long as I remain in office, an ad like that will not be part of our campaigns," Padilha told Agencia Estado. The ministry will, however, go ahead with a safe sex campaign with the tagline "Not ashamed of using a condom."

Brazil is expected to see an increase in business for sex workers heading into the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, with many reportedly learning English to accomodate tourists.

The Brazilian government is highly praised for its successful AIDS program and widespread distribution of free condoms, despite being a predominately Roman Catholic country.

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