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Tourism campaign that used naked Mexican model to promote patrimony draws criticism

Tourism campaign that used naked Mexican model to promote patrimony draws criticism

Mexico's government guardians of history didn't mind the fact that a seemingly naked soap opera star was promoting the glories of Hidalgo state.
But they say they were miffed that Iran Castillo's curves drew eyes away from a famed aqueduct and convent _ and convinced state officials to pull the more provocative of the ads.
The ads showed tourism attractions such as the Atlantes monoliths, a cathedral and an aqueduct overlaid on Castillo's apparently naked form _ along with the slogan, "Hidalgo gets under your skin."
The campaign created a sensation in the Mexican press even before it ran. Officials from the National Institute of Anthropology and History _ official overseers of Mexico's cultural heritage _ complained that state officials failed to get permits to show Castillo with the monuments and suggested the ads violated the sites' dignity.
Chastised state officials launched a toned down version of the campaign this week _ with waterfalls, mountains and hot-air balloons projected across a more discreetly posed Castillo, no longer displaying backside and breasts.
"This has nothing to do with morals," insisted Benito Taibo, an executive with the institute. "We always insist that the nation's cultural patrimony belongs to all Mexicans and we ask that they are not transformed when used for publicity."
Gaudelli MCW, the advertising agency that planned the campaign, said it was happy to change the photos.
"They simply informed us that it was not acceptable because the dignity of the monuments was affected," said Roberto Gaudelli, the agency director.
Tourism officials said they were happy at least with the attention for Hidalgo, a central Mexican state the size of Massachusetts and best known for pit roasted goat and hot springs.
Gaudelli says the campaign will continue, with images projected onto the bodies of other people. He doesn't expect problems.
"If I had shown a fat woman and her husband by her side ... I don't think this controversy would have come up," Gaudelli said.