Inappropriate Vintage Advertisements That Would Never Fly Today


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This 1950s ad lets you know exactly the kind of stuff you’ll find here. It’s wildly inappropriate. There were better ways to sell bananas as being tasty.

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Most ads in the ’40s were directed towards families. That was the idea here but there’s something unsettling about a baby trapped in a plastic bag. And they don’t actually come in cellophane.

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1985 is a late entry for this list. This isn’t really an offensive ad but it is one that wouldn’t make it through today. The hand placement and the slogan are not good.

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Ah, the 1970s. To promote how new this computer was, they could’ve used anyone. Of course, they decided to go with the stereotypical “dumb blonde” concept.

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The idea of American Airlines treating our mothers well when they travel is great. The question is why include a photo of a woman who is younger than most of the people this is targeted towards?

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In the battle of Coca-Cola against Pepsi, this showed where their targets were. Pepsi clearly only wanted their product to be purchased by the upper class.

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A lot of entries here are inappropriate. However, this one is flat out unsafe. The woman is holding her baby directly under rays. You can say it’s safe but nobody will do that.

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The 1950s were certainly a different time. Here, the woman apparently burned dinner but it’s okay because at least she didn’t burn the beer. There’s a lot wrong here.

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Somehow, this was advertising a vitamin that you could give women so they could accomplish more in their housework. There’s a lot wrong here as we’ve evolved beyond women being seen as nothing more than wives and mothers.

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This is all about control. The “Haig/vague” rhyme is a good idea but the whole premise here is wrong. It’s as if they don’t care if you drink too much, so long as you buy their product.

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Yikes. This 1975 ad seems to indicate that the idea of a child’s innocence is somehow sexual. There’s no way that this would fly now because it’s clearly problematic.

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There’s a lot to be concerned with in this 1950s ad. From the woman’s position over the lipstick to the idea that her lips are apparently her most important body part.

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Cocaine is a heck of a drug. Back in the 1800s, cocaine was often used for a lot of products. One use was for pain relief and that definitely wouldn’t work today.

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Another shining example of how different things were in the 1950s. The idea that this is so easy even a woman can do it would never fly today. Women can do anything a man can do and more.

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We don’t even know what they’re going for here. This ad was made for a pen, so why is it selling someone riding it? Why does it have to be a woman? We don’t get it.

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How do you cure a case of the blues? You indulge in the booze. This ad promoted that you should just drink all of your troubles away and not worry about anything else.

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We get it. Sex sells. That was the idea here, as they were offering up a “stacked” machine. They just so happened to also include a “stacked” woman in the ad as well.

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Why even make this? It’s not like Coca-Cola would have their sales boosted that much if babies began drinking it. The health concerns on this are pretty high.

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This is widely considered one of the most offensive ads ever. Wevenberg Massagic Shoes ran it in 1972, attempting to tell everyone where a woman’s place is.

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Wow. The idea here was that this hair wax would make you attractive. On its own, that’s fine. However, they chose to put the women up as trophies on the wall and that’s just wrong.


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