Brazil Takes Down ‘Happy’ Prostitute Ads

June 5, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

So-called “happy prostitute” ads were taken down across Brazilian websites.

The campaign included a slogan saying “I’m happy being a prostitute,” reported CNN. 

They were set up by the Brazilian government as an attempt to curb sexually transmitted diseases, namely AIDS, as prostitution is legal in Brazil. They were also used to reduce the stigma against the profession.

However, Health Minister Alexandre Padilha said that he never approved the campaign. “For as long as I remain in office, an ad like that will not be part of our campaigns,” he told the BBC

“The role of the ministry is to have specific content to encourage prevention among sex workers, who are a very vulnerable group,” he said, according to CNN.

The ads were shelved after public criticism, while some lawmakers also panned the ad.

“We are fighting childhood prostitution and here comes a campaign encouraging it,” federal deputy Liliam Sá recently said, reported Reuters.

But Padilha stressed that the ad was taken down “before any protests for or against it,” according to Reuters.