China irked by topless women's health ad
BEIJING, June 13 (Reuters) A Chinese TV presenter issued a public apology after posing topless with two other women in hospital advertisements for women's health, the Beijing News said today.
Chen Dan, a presenter on Changsha TV's ''Women's channel'' in the southeastern province of Hunan, drew fire from Internet chat-rooms and station bosses after her ''Clever Girls Love Themselves More'' advertisement appeared at bus stops and on billboards in Hunan's capital, Changsha.
Chen, who was suspended from presenting duties said it was a ''public interest advertisement'', the Beijing News said.
''My intentions were good,'' the paper quoted her as saying.
''I hoped to draw people's attention to women's health, but because the format was inappropriate it caused a huge backlash.
In future I will choose more suitable ways of publicising women's health.'' The advertisement provoked fierce debate online and in local media over the morality of using nudity to promote public interest causes, and whether the article was a commercial stunt for the women or Changsha's Shangmei Gynaecology Hospital.
''What a shame breasts have become the leading actor,'' the official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.
''This is a serious attack on women,'' fumed an online commentator. ''It goes completely beyond the moral and aesthetic baseline.'' The ''Clever Girls'' advertisement furore followed a controversy over several actresses who posed nude in support of breast cancer prevention in a lifestyle magazine in October 2005.
REUTERS KD BST1048