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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 18:50 GMT
Rabbis clean up spicy soap advert
Sarah Jessica Parker in 'immodest' dress
US television star Sarah Jessica Parker has been ordered to cover up after an Israeli billboard advert offended the country's ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The star of risque sitcom Sex and the City is known around the world for her glamorous gowns and chi-chi heels.

But conservative Jews were so offended by the bare flesh in a Lux soap advert that rabbis called for a mass boycott by the Orthodox community.

Using sex, violence or insults to sell a product should be forbidden
Geoffrey Roberts, Colchester, UK

Parent company Unilever changed the posters to cover Miss Parker's modesty.

The original adverts for Lux, one of the leading soap brands in Israel, showed Miss Parker in a strappy, backless gown familiar to fans of her role as sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw.

The short dress barely covered her bottom and the actress' upper thigh was clearly visible.

'Winter dress'

For Israel's ultra-orthodox Jews, who follow strict rules forbidding women from wearing immodest clothes, the poster was too much.

Sarah Jessica Parker being appropriately dressed
Within 24 hours, a senior rabbi contacted the Israel office of consumer giant Unilever to threaten a boycott of the company's entire range of products.

As well as Lux, Unilever sells Dove soap and a wide range of food and cleaning products in Israel.

Facing a potentially devastating boycott by the ultra-Orthodox community, new posters were drawn up, clothing Miss Parker to the satisfaction of rabbis.

In a week when Israel shivered under the first heavy rains of winter, a Unilever marketing manager had a novel explanation.

"We decided to make her dress more suitable for the winter weather," the spokesperson said.

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