The Brazilian labor ministry advised prostitutes how to attract better customers with perfumes and then how to properly invest their savings, in a link on its official Internet site.

The ministry shut down the link immediately after being approached for an explanation by the Estado daily, the newspaper said.

In its "classification of trades" section, the labour ministry taught street walkers how to attract clients by calling them "by tender names", "to attract them with perfume" and also to respect customers’ silence.

It also suggested ways to save and invest money wisely, the newspaper report said.

Estado said the ministry told the paper in an e-mail that it was not lobbying for or encouraging prostitution, and that the text had been prepared by a preceding government and first published on the internet in 2002.

Prostitution is not considered a crime in Brazil, although it is battling a widespread child prostitution problem through new legislation.