Brazil and sexism
Wise Words: score
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. Stereotypes can get you into trouble, especially when you want to do business abroad or with people from other cultures. Adidas would do well to remember this in future.
Adidas is one of the official sponsors of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. As Brazil is the host, the company obviously wanted to cash in on the connection to push sales of its T-shirts. The usual “I (insert shape of heart to mean “love”) Brazil” was clearly too boring for the company. The designers came up with a replacement for the heart. When I first saw it, I thought it was a heart with a triangle in the middle — for some inexplicable reason. It turns out that it’s not a heart, but an upside-down female backside wearing a tiny G-string. Another shows a woman in a bikini holding a football, next to the words “Lookin’ to score”. You’d have to know that “score” has two meanings. The first is “score a goal”. The second is “have sex”. As the T-shirts only went on sale in the US, most people would understand both messages.
The state tourist board complained that the t-shirts harmed Brazil’s image and asked for them to be withdrawn. Brazil's minister of state for women, Eleonora Menicucci, said that it was unacceptable of the company to sell the clothes “linking Brazil to sex tourism”. Adidas has pulled them from the shops. Before they start from scratch again (or at least before the Olympic Games in 2016), the company should read up on the Brazilian culture — and stereotypes.
In Business Spotlight 3/2014 our intercultural feature focuses on business culture in Brazil. In her article, Vicki Sussens takes a close look at Brazil’s economic and social development and talks to experts about doing business with Brazilians. She also asked for their views on Brazilian stereotypes and their answers may surprise you — and Adidas.
|Business Spotlight 3/2013: Brazil|
- ‹ previous
- 247 of 247
- next ›