SAO PAULO (AP) — Adidas will stop selling World Cup products that used sex appeal to promote host Brazil, a move that came after a formal complaint from the local government on Tuesday.
Adidas made the announcement just hours after Brazil's tourism board released a statement condemning some T-shirts that were being sold on the company's web site, including one which said "Lookin' to Score," with a woman in bikini in front of the word "Brazil" and an image of the Sugar Loaf mountain in the background.
Another said "I (heart) Brazil," with what appeared to be the image of a thong bikini inside the heart.
Adidas, a main World Cup sponsor and the official ball provider for the tournament that begins in June, said in a statement the products were limited edition T-shirts available only in the United States.
"Adidas always pays close attention to the opinion of its consumers and partners," the company said. "Therefore, it is announcing that these products will not be sold anymore."
The T-shirts were not available on the site on Tuesday shortly after Brazilian media published images of them.
The tourism board said the Brazilian government is "vehemently" against anything that "links Brazil's image to sex appeal," and said officials are working hard to repress "sexual tourism" during the World Cup.
"We want to make it very clear to our main commercial partners in tourism that Brazil does not tolerate this type of crime in its territory," said Flavio Dino, president of the tourism board Embratur.