Super Bowl 2013: Kate Upton's Mercedes commercial draws criticism

Jeff Zelevansky

Is the supermodel's new ad a step back for feminism, or is all of this fuss exactly what the car company was going for?

Using Kate Upton to sell cars? Say it ain't so!

Mercedes-Benz has drawn controversy this week when their Super Bowl ad, featuring a scantily-clad Upton directing a group of guys washing a car, hit YouTube on Monday:

Upton, 20, has had a meteoric rise as a supermodel over the last two years and certainly been featured in some more compromising positions than this, but the Parents Television Council thinks that this current ad is a step back for females:

"This ad [reinforces] for millions of wives, daughters and sisters across the country that you use your sex appeal to get what you want," a PTC spokesperson complained to Daily Mail (via the Los Angeles Times). "If anything, this ad proves that we’ve regressed rather than progressed over the last several years."

The ad is scheduled to run during the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, and this sort of pre-game commercial hype seems to arise every year, whether because a promo is considered to be either too risqué or just features a celebrity doing something unusual. Whether or not that hype is good or bad remains to be seen. While some find the Upton commercial to be inappropriate, others just find it to be "tacky," "cheap," and "classless."

Is any sort of publicity considered good publicity, or is Mercedes doing themselves a disservice by arousing the disapproval of the PTC at all? Is Upton being used as a sex symbol here in order to sell cars and if so, is that not the goal for any model, whether male or female? Does the ad go too far or is it just the norm for 2013? And is Cat Daddy Dance ever going to get its own halftime show?

One thing is for certain: If Mercedes wanted attention, they got it. Whether it's the sort of attention they were hoping for, we will see.

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