Following up on a story that I first presented 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. The decision 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.
Source: iBahia, Black Women of Brazil