The T-shirts in question include one promoting Rio de Janeiro's famous beaches with a woman in a bikini and the slogan, "looking to score." The other said "I [heart] Brazil," except the heart is clearly a woman's butt in a thong.
The t-shirts were being sold in the US, a place that loves to think of the World Cup host as synonymous with sex. Yet the timing was awkward for a country that is eager to shed that image.
According to Reuters:
President Dilma Rousseff said Brazil would crack down on sex tourism and the exploitation of children and adolescents during the Cup, which is expected to draw 600,000 foreign fans.
"Brazil is happy to receive tourists for the World Cup, but it is also ready to combat sex tourism," she said in a burst of Twitter messages that included a hot line number to report cases of sexual exploitation.
The designers at Adidas were probably just thinking "Brazil = sexy." But in addition to possibly inadvertenly looking like they promote sex tourism, the shirts also objectify women. At least the company has the good sense to pull these shirts only a day after they went on sale, and without complaint, too.