Sep 19, 2008

Lifestyle - Anger over 'no pants' promotion;Australia

An Australian hotel offering free drinks to women who took off their underwear is to be investigated by alcohol regulators, authorities say.

The Saint Hotel in Melbourne said women who hung their underwear above the bar on No Undie Sundie would receive A$50 ($39; £22) of drinks vouchers.

Women who flashed underwear at hotel staff would also get free drinks.

The Saint stoked controversy in June by hiring a dwarf to pour free alcohol down customers' throats.

The director of Victoria state's alcohol licensing authority said the event - which had been scheduled for this weekend - "looks like an inappropriate liquor promotion".

"We will be investigating with a view to banning it," Sue Maclellan told Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper.

Women's protection groups said the initiative was "almost an invitation to sexual assault", Reuters news agency reported.

Posters advertising this weekend's promotion showed US singer Britney Spears partially exposed and getting out of a car.

Local Mayor Janet Cribbes said the ad was "bordering on being pornographic".

Managers at the hotel, which describes itself as "the home of Melbourne's fashionable set", were unavailable for comment on Thursday.