Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM ET
A new Super Bowl commercial featuring supermodel Kate Upton washing a Mercedes Benz has critics complaining that the only clean part of the clip is the car.
The Parents Television Council, a watchdog group that opposes harmful and negative messages targeted to children, has criticized the spot for its objectification of women.
“It’s not the raciest ad that’s ever aired during the Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean it is just harmless fun, either," Melissa Henson, PTC’s Director of Communications and Public Education, told TODAY.com in a statement. "This ad isn’t selling cars, it’s selling sexual objectification, and reinforcing for millions of wives, daughters and sisters across the country that you use your sex appeal to get what you want. If anything, this ad proves that we’ve regressed rather than progressed over the last several years. This is not an empowering message for women or girls. It doesn’t encourage respect, achievement, or any values beyond the purely superficial.”
A 90-second trailer for the commercial has already been viewed more than three million times on YouTube since being released on Tuesday. It starts with the message, "Kate Upton washes the new Mercedes CLA in slow motion," and features the 2012 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl blowing soap off her hands and posing as sultry music plays in the background. Three men in football jerseys and jeans are then shown slowly washing the car with their mouths agape at Upton. The clip ends with her inspecting their work and saying "you missed a spot,'' before walking away.
The commercial follows in the footsteps of other racy Super Bowl spots of the past, including several GoDaddy.com spots in recent years featuring NASCAR driver Danica Patrick.