Kate Upton's new Mercedes-Benz commercial draws controversy
Kate Upton attends the "No" premiere on Oct. 12, 2012, in New York. / Getty
A new Mercedes-Benz commercial featuring model Kate Upton is drawing some heat from critics.
The ad, titled "Kate Upton Washes the All-New Mercedes-Benz CLA in Slow Motion," is reportedly slated to air during next weekend's Super Bowl. The 20-year-old Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl doesn't actually wash any cars in the commercial -- that's left to a group of young men in football jerseys who gawk as she blows soap suds out of her hand, struts over and tells them: "You missed a spot."
A spokeswoman for the Parents Television Council told the Daily Mail that the commercial "isn't selling cars, it's selling sexual objectification."
"This ad [reinforces] for millions of wives, daughters and sisters across the country that you use your sex appeal to get what you want," the spokeswoman said. "If anything, this ad proves that we've regressed rather than progressed over the last several years."
Reviews on the brand's YouTube and Facebook pages were mixed. Some called the commercial "tacky," "cheap" and "classless," while others didn't see what all the fuss was about. One commenter pointed out: "With all of these comments and publicity, the ad is CLEARLY effective!"
Dean Crutchfield, a brand expert and Forbes advertising blogger, told Yahoo! Shine that the sexy ad is a "risky" move for the car company.
"They're clearly working on a new strategy, by picking a lane that's not standard for a luxury brand," he said, adding, "To have an ad that would be perceived as crass? This would potentially have a negative impact...The other side of it, though, is it stands out. And you want to do that."
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