As time moves on, our attitudes and values also move on with it. Over the past 100 years, as humans our attitudes have dramatically changed, for better as well as for worse. It goes without saying that a lot of topics that were joked about 100 years ago, simply would not be as funny today. Things that were part of every day life back then, are deemed completely inappropriate in the 21st century.
Advertisements, whether they are on TV or on huge billboards, are a huge topic of debate in society, are discussed in many different places, from feminist arguments who pick up on gender inequality in adverts to experts who worry about the promotion of unhealthy products.
For a company, an advertisement is a hugely beneficial way to sell products, after all, thousands of people at a time can view one advert. But as well as being economically resourceful, they can be very powerful, as well as harmful.
From images of children smoking to promote cigarettes, to numberless adverts highlighting how important men are compared to women, adverts have the power to shape how we view the world and the people in it.
Whilst nowadays there are certain laws in place to help to protect customers and society’s values, it is astonishing to look back on older adverts and imagine that these ads actually used to appear in the public domain. So you can have a look for yourself, we have put together 10 adverts that would most definitely not be allowed to air in today’s society.
1. ‘I am like a fish in water’
Shockingly enough, as you may have suspected, this is genuinely an advertisement for a hygiene product aimed at females. We are not sure whether viewers found this funny or downright uncomfortable but we can only imagine the latter.
2. Tongue in cheek or just plain cheeky?
Whilst it is normal for adverts to exaggerate the truth, given that Einstein died in 1955 and Mentos were only around for a few years of his life, we suspect that his theory of relativity did not come from a minty breath.
3. How to terrify a customer in buying your product
There are many sneaky strategies used in advertising, but scaring your customers like this is pretty offside.
4. Is that? Yes, it is.
The angles are just all wrong.
5. Are you talking about legroom?
Whilst we all like a bit of innuendo, this is taking it waaaay too far. As well as not being funny, it is downright insulting to women.
With adverts like this paving the way for newly wedded couples, it is easy to see how gender inequality was so prevalent.
7. Heroin for your cough?
Something tells us that this medicine probably isn’t used anymore! Think we’ll just stick to soothers!
8. Did this manual ever sell?
This is all kinds of confusing, but we think it implies that an older man is instructing his younger wife how to survive in the world. Not wonder survival is difficult for women in this egotistical, patriarchal society.
9. Fancy some tobacco with that mince pie, Santa?
Believe it or not this cigarette company has used one of the most magical childhood icons to advertise their harmful products.
10. To be a wife in the 50s…
Just in case you wives didn’t already know. You MUST be cooking, cleaning, dusting, taking your vitamins AND looking cute.
We can’t believe that some of these adverts actually made it into the public eye!