The Brazilian government has decided that the best place for a message to consumers about getting regular screenings for common forms of cancer is in their underwear. Brazil's Congress just passed a bill requiring manufacturers to add a warning to all bras, panties and mens' underpants about the importance of screening for breast, uterine and prostate cancer respectively. For good measure, it threw in the requirement that underwear for adult women should also suggest use of condoms.
To become law, the bill must be signed by Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff. Brazil's Congress has been tinkering with this measure since it was introduced back in 1999 by a now-retired member of Congress, Barbosa Neto, from Goiania. The original message simply suggested regular preventive tests. Over the years, the bill became more detailed, specifying which articles of lingerie and underwear should contain specific messages, and adding the reference to condoms.
Luckily for manufacturers, legislators also decided labels are too small for all that information, so an amendment to the bill requires companies to print it on the packaging instead. All kinds of punishments are envisioned for companies that don't follow the new rules, if they're ever enacted. Manufacturers could be fined or face suspension of production and sales. There's no sign that lingerie advertising would be affected, but in Brazil, anything is possible.
Underwear is big business in Brazil, with no fewer than 6,000 manufacturers and sales of $3.36 billion and 2.8 billion pieces in 2010. The biggest player is Brazil's DuLoren and other big brands include international companies like Valisere and locals like Lupo.