Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s company Mediaset has been among those to question the depiction of women in a new car advert.
The 30-second film, for a special edition Renault Twingo, depicts two women at a party.
After initially exchanging glances, one woman lures the other into a bedroom.
The second woman seductively blindfolds her, before stealing her top and driving away in the car.
In the Italian version, the tag-line reads, “la competizione e femmina”, or “the competition is female”.
Renault has a history of television adverts that play on themes of relationships and romantic interactions.
“We think it is a great advert, is very open minded and continues the theme of previous adverts which always plays on irony,” a spokesman for the French car-maker said.
Sky Italia is currently the only channel showing the commercial in Italy, although it is expected to be broadcast throughout Europe.