SAO PAULO — Adidas will stop selling World Cup products that used sex appeal to promote host Brazil, a move that came after a formal complaint from the local government on Tuesday.
Adidas made the announcement just hours after Brazil's tourism board released a statement condemning some T-shirts that were being sold on the company's website, including one that said "Lookin' to Score," with a woman in bikini and an image of the Sugar Loaf mountain in the background.
Another said "I (heart) Brazil," with what appeared to be the image of a thong bikini inside the heart.
Adidas, a World Cup sponsor and supplier of the official ball for the tournament, said in a statement the products were limited edition T-shirts available only in the United States.
"Adidas always pays close attention to the opinion of its consumers and partners," the company said. "Therefore, it is announcing that these products will not be sold anymore."
The T-shirts were not available on the site on Tuesday shortly after Brazilian media published images of them.
The tourism board said the Brazilian government is "vehemently" against anything that "links Brazil's image to sex appeal," and said officials are working hard to repress "sexual tourism" during the World Cup.
"We want to make it very clear to our main commercial partners in tourism that Brazil does not tolerate this type of crime in its territory," said Flavio Dino, president of the tourism board Embratur.
The World Cup, soccer's showcase event, is being held across 12 cities in Brazil from June 12-July 13. It is the first time since 1950 the South American nation is hosting the tournament.