Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sex, cars and fast women who work for cash

Brazilian brothels gagged by sensitive punters in censorship orgy. Latin lovers find censorship hard to swallow, say ads "blown out of proportion."

Brothel ads too racy for Grand Prix Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:31 AM ET165

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - Two high-class brothels hoping to attract racers and pit crews in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix were shut down after they posted sexually explicit advertisements on 30 billboards around South America's largest city.

Sao Paulo Mayor Jose Serra demanded the billboards be covered with blank white sheets and his code enforcement officers sealed doorways to the brothels, Romanza and Cafe Millenium, with concrete blocks.

The billboards showed a photo made to look like a scantily clad woman was performing fellatio on a man in a racing uniform. Captions on the advertisements said in both Portuguese and English: "Do you know what happens after the (winners') podium?."

Another advertisement in Sao Paulo targeting race car drivers reads "emotion in every curve" alongside a semi-nude woman, the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported.

Every year, brothel owners put up dozens of billboards targeting rich customers who visit Sao Paulo for the Formula One race.

But since taking office in January, the tough-talking Serra has tried to clean up the sleazy side of Sao Paulo, including shutting down cheap downtown hotels frequented by crack addicts.

Prostitution in Brazil is legal, but pimping is not. To avoid hassles from police, many brothel owners say they run "relaxation clubs for men" and that sexual services are not provided in exchange for money.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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