The Bedazzled star appears in a tongue-in-cheek campaign for discount firm Groupon, in which she compares the loss of rainforests to a Brazilian bikini wax.
In the ad, which aired in the U.S. during the Super Bowl on Sunday (06Feb11), Hurley calls Brazil's rainforest "one of nature's most lush ecosystems", before adding: "Not all deforestation is bad!" and revealing she got a half-price wax treatment with a Groupon discount.
Actors Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Timothy Hutton can also be seen in Groupon's 'Save the Money' campaign, which also has spoof appeals for helping endangered whales and Tibet.
Angry viewers claim Hurley's clip makes light of serious environmental matters, with one TV critic telling Britain's The Sun, "I look forward to a Groupon campaign for roadside assistance using Egypt. That'd be droll! These ads are reprehensible."
But a spokesperson for the firm has defended the promos, insisting: "(The ads are a) parody of a celebrity-narrated public service announcement-style commercial that you think is about some noble cause."
Hurley has backed up the representative, adding in a post on her Twitter.com page: "Thanks to all who like the Groupon ads and, please, lighten up detractors! I think they're v funny & v silly. Just as a joke should be....."