Devassa Beer ordered to change its racist ad depicting black women’s sexuality

Following up on a story that was first presented here back in December of 2011, an ad created by the Devassa Beer company has been determined to be racist. The ad first appeared in December of 2010 and caused an uproar in Brazil’s black community and amongst black and feminist organizations. In the ad, the beer company used a double entendre play on the term negra and featured a sensuous painting of a black woman in a play on Brazil’s historical representation of black women having advanced sexual capabilities. Continue reading for details. 

Devassa Beer must change its ad that has been determined to be racist

Decision was taken by the Conselho Nacional de Autorregulamentação Publicitária (National Council of Advertising Self-Regulation/Conar)

The Conselho Nacional de Autorregulamentação Publicitária (National Council of Advertising Self-Regulation or Conar) has determined that the group responsible for the production change its controversial beer ad. According to the organization, the advertisement contained information and ambiguous associations of a racist and sexist tone. Thedecision was announced last on Wednesday, February 29th to the Ombudsman of the Secretaria de Políticas de Promoção da Igualdade Racial (SEPPIR or Secretariat for Policies to Promote Racial Equality) in response to the proceedings and sent by the organization to Conar and the Public Ministry.

In addition to highlighting the black woman’s body, the content contained the following sentence: “It is the by the body that one recognizes the true negra*. Full-bodied Devassa negra. Dark toned ale of the highest fermentation. Creamy roasted malt aroma.” CONAR understand that offenses by the publicity are contained in articles of the Brazilian Code of Advertising Self-Regulation.

For the ombudsman of Seppir, Carlos Alberto de Souza e Silva Junior, there was a distribution of ad featuring a distorted image of black women. “The phrase used in the piece associates the image of a black woman to beer, reinforcing the process  of racism and discrimination to which they are historically subjected in Brazil and that is characterized, among other manifestations, the propagation of stereotypes and myths about their sexuality,”he said.

Conar is a non-governmental organization whose aim is to prevent misleading or abusive advertising that causes embarrassment to consumers or businesses. The organ is made up of advertising professionals and professionals of other areas. The main mission is the deal with complaints from consumers, authorities, partners or made by members of the board itself. All reports are for the evaluation of the Counsel of Ethics, guaranteeing the right of defense to those responsible for the ad. Once the complaint is upheld, the organization recommends changes or complete suspension of the distribution of the advertisement.
* – “Negra” in this sense describes the color of the beer but also a black woman, hence the photo. 

For a more detailed explanation of the ad, its meaning and the public’s reaction, see here.

About Marques Travae 3201 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. I am very Happy and surprised to see that this kind of organisation exist in Brazil; I hope people and some women in particular will do their parts by stopping to exhibit their body half or almost naked during carnaval for example ( i think it will be a good start );NO NEED TO BE SO SEXUALLY EXPLICIT.God Bless;

  2. I am also an activist when it comes to the exploitation of the women and girls in Brazil. I think that it is sending out a very negative message to women that in order to get what you want or to take care of your family all you need to do sexually entice and sell your self to a majority of men. My mother came to The U.S. to make a better life for me and my sisters and she hasn't look back since.She had a hard time here learning english and getting on her feet. She is a very educated women now and if you were to talk to her you would never know any of this existed in her life. She tries to forget the things she has done to take care of us when we were babies and our dad left. Now that we are adults she sometimes share with us that; that was all she knew because that is what the women felt was a guaranteed way to feed their children there. I plan on going back to Rio to see some of my family there because I am in the process of doing a family tree for my daughter and my sons. I think that it is a wonderful thing that these types of organisations are slowly but surely coming together nicely to help stop this demoralisation of the beautiful black women and girls of Brazil. Keep doing what you do and I will be the first to tell you that I am proud that you are steadfast in being one of many advocates and speaking out for the beautiful black women of Brazil.

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