An ad campaign to save sea turtles in Mexico is getting some people angry. The campaign by Wildcoast, a US based environmental group, aims to reach men who buy turtle eggs because they believe that they are a natural form of Viagra. The National Institute for Women (a government agency) objects to the stereotype of a woman as a sex object. The ads direct people to check out the Tortuga Marina website.
Read on for the controversy and to see the "too sexy" ads.
Homero Aridjis, a poet and naturalist who has fought for years to save the turtles, said the feminists opposed to the advertisements were being overly prudish and should turn their attention to the rampant violence against women in places like Ciudad Juarez, where hundreds have been murdered.
Besides, he pointed out, seminaked women are seen on billboards all over the country selling perfumes, lingerie, beer and tequila. Why, he asked, are the women in the government institute scandalized by one more model in a bikini?
"They don't understand the goal of the campaign," said Aridjis, who leads the Group of 100, an influential organization of intellectuals and environmentalists. "It is directed at men, to capture the attention of the macho Mexican man who uses the turtle eggs for sexual ends. The campaign tries to be sexy precisely to capture their attention".
The $30,000 ad campaign includes TV spots, billboards and posters and is supposed to kick off in Septemeber. But with the government of Guerrero pulling its support along with federal environmental officials, and the stink raised by the National Institute for Women, this might not happen.
The reaction has stung Crevoshay, who vows to find volunteers to put up the posters even without the government's blessing. A veteran of the feminist movement, she regards the ability to show off the female form without shame as a fundamental right. She points out that the model used in the campaign, Doris Mar, is working for free because she believes in the cause.
"Why can Pepsi-Cola use a woman in short shorts and a little top, sweating in the desert?" Crevoshay asked. "If I put a picture of a turtle up, who's going to look?"
Model: Doris Mar of Argentina
Copy reads: "My man doesn't need turtle eggs. Because he knows it doesnt make him more potent."