Offensive Throwback Advertisements That Would Definitely Be Banned Today

Oftentimes advertising is looked at like just the art of selling a product to a certain group of people. But, it isn’t just that, it can also be the art of delivering a message to a certain group of people and hoping that by understanding your message they are going to become your costumers. The 20th century was a time when mass consumerism was increased and with that advertising became more and more important, and in some cases, it was even more important than the product it should’ve been selling. In the following couple of minutes, you’re going to see some of the more outrageous advertisements that will make you think who gave the green light and put them out in front of the public…

Year: 1930 – Put a little “pep” in your step.

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Advertisement is a delicate job, and sometimes people might pass some boundaries. In the case of these “Pep” vitamins they were telling women that in order to manage to stay home and clean, cook and dust, they should drink these vitamins. And to be honest this is just the beginning of the funny and oftentimes offensive advertising techniques.

Year: 1965 – Twice as nice.

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The girl in this ad must be having a brilliant time, simply because as Coca-Cola puts it you need not one, but two six packs of their product to have a blast. The main question is, who would drink two six packs if Coca-Cola?

Year: 1972 – A shoe with a view.

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The 1970s Wasn’t a great time for advertising! This ad is made by Weinberg Massagic Shoes and it features their Hush Puppies style shoe. And, the thing that caught our eye in this advertisement is the fact that they decided to use a female model, to advertise a shoe for the male population. This is one of the advertisements in recent times that has been deemed as one of the most offensive advertisements.

Year: 1947 – A rocket in your pocket.

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This advertisement is just all over the place. What’s it like to have a rocket in your pocket, yeah, sure that is kinda’ catchy, but is it as good as it sounds? And even if we leave that aside, why does the girl ride the pen, I thought that pens were made for writing not for riding…

Year: 1947 – Enthusiastic about plastic.

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Yeah, it might be a bit visually uncomfortable to see a baby wrapped in cellophane, but this advertisement is more focused on the family products from the middle of the 20th century. And I hope we don’t need to remind you not to wrap your baby in plastic… Please don’t do that!

6.Year: 1977 – An appliance alliance.

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Who needs the clutter and the mess of three separate home appliances when you can stack them up and have a three in one!?  You can stack the appliances, save some money as well as some space while seeing your dreams come true!

Year: 1963 – A lemon-lime past time.

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This Pepsi ad that is trying hard to represent 7-Up as an energy drink (a drink that incorporates a slightly higher dose of sugar in it to be exact) is nuts. Although I cannot understand the connotation to the “bowling twice” part, it’s understandable, it is a 1950s ad after all…

8.Year: 1950s – Attack of the snack.

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Hmm, are you seeing what I am seeing? What I am certain about is that I don’t feel comfortable seeing this ad. They sure managed to show us how tasty their bananas are, and I’d even say that they might have had some increase in sales after this ad.

9.Year: 1985 – The joy of the game.

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Video game consoles were the trending thing back in the 1980s. There were battles by bigger brands to get the same target audience. As a result of this oversaturated marked, advertising companies had to think of unique and enticing ways to get the reader’s attention, and it was really hard to do that. This, corny ad that I would say is PG16 at least, was out as a promotion to the addition of the joystick to the SEGA controller. What do you think? Did it get your attention?

Year: 1970 – That’s one tough puff.

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Don’t think that the claim that the advertisement company did on the advert wasn’t controversial… It was controversial back then as it is right now. I can’t stop to think who thought that this is a nice way to market an innovative product like the flavored cigarettes that Tipalet tried to market with this ad.

Year: 1953 – A twist of the wrist.

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We have all kinds of feminists that say that people are bringing women down, and I agree, to some extent. But, I would want to know what those same feminists would say about this advertisement. A big number of advertisements in the past were made this way!

Year: 1975 – For your inner wild child…

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I really can’t wrap my brain around this ad. Since when are we seeing the innocence in a child as a sexy thing? I mean, maybe in someone’s twisted and perverted world yeah, but why were they making ads like this?!

Year: 1968 – Just another mother.

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This promise that American Airlines decided to make in their ad campaign aims a bit too high, and I can’t help to think that they made a mistake. You cannot promise your passengers that they are going to feel like they’re at home and say that they will get the same love and care that they get from their mothers. The only difference that I can think of when I picture this, is that the mother that they’ll give me will be a lot younger and she will be more attractive for sure!

Year: 1970s – Clueless to newness.

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We all know the stereotypes that surrounded blonde women for a long time. I think that they’re gone now, but in the past, they were everywhere. They even found their way in this computer ad.

Year: 1950 – A trophy wife for a tiger life.

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All you’ll need to do in order to get your trophy wife, is purchase our tiger hair wax, apply it and pick a wife! I can’t believe that it works like that. But, given the fact that the refund policies were much different in the past, I’d think that they made a lot of money before people realized that it doesn’t work like they thought it would work!

Year: 1950 – Lady-like with Lucky Strike.

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Want to just be happy and get lucky! The “Lucky Strike” is the thing for you then! Solve your problems and stop creating new ones…

Year: 1950s – Use fashion to catch ’em.

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This one is another one of “those” over promising ads… Use our brand of swimsuit in order to tame your man?! Really?! I mean who believed this ad campaign, KIDS?!

Year: 1950s – A glass for the upper-class.

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It seems as though this company wasn’t aiming towards the lower class, average consumer with their soda… Looking at the difference between the two ads of the Pepsi Cola and the 7-Up, we can notice how intensely the target audiences were targeted back then!

Year: 1930s – A vice with a price.

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You can smoke our cigarettes instead of eating sweets, and it will save you from diabetes… You might get cancer though, we haven’t figured that part out yet! Maybe the Lucky in Lucky Strike stands for: “You will not get cancer if you are LUCKY enough?!”… You’re safe from a cough and the throat irritations though!

Year: 1952 – Dinner for the breadwinner.

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Has your wife ever burnt your dinner? No worries, from now on you’re going to be able to get Schlitz, she won’t be able to burn the beer, after all, wouldn’t she?! I mean don’t get me wrong, there are a couple of things wrong with this ad, but the real problem lays in the fact that the beer advertisements have not gotten that far ahead of the ones that were presented back in that time!

Year: 1971 – Top notch scotch.

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I love these catchy ads that kind of stay in your mind and you can remember them anytime… But couldn’t they think of something more creative, like our scotch is top notch, or I don’t know…? Something… Anything…?

Year: 1960 – Baby’s first UV rays.

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All jokes aside, sun lamps were pretty dangerous back then… But, what’s with the picture, is it safe enough that you would want to give your baby a luxurious golden tan? If not for anything else, the science has advanced way beyond harmful and burning tanning rays!

Year: 1951 – All tied up.

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This is another one of those ads that bring women down, I know all of you feminists reading these are going crazy right now, but notice how much we progressed since back then… What this ad was trying to say is that you should assert your power over your woman. Ties are made for men to wear them, not to tie their women with them!

Year: 1885 – Numb the pain with…

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Back then people actually used cocaine derivatives to treat pain and it even was one of the main ingredients in the popular drink Coca-Cola – that’s where the name comes from!

Year: 1957 – Go far in this car.

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This car promises that it will get you as far as you need it to get you! You’ll be getting exactly what you need with the Pontiac Star Chief. They know comfort is the main thing that you’re missing from your car and they created lots of leg room that you’ll be able to use!

Year: 1937 – As-best-as it gets.

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You might have recently heard of Asbestos. That’s because just a few decades after this ad was made, scientists discovered all the negatives of Asbestos as well as the tons of health problems that seem to come from it. So, today, they’re still trying to clean up the Asbestos mess that the people from the early 1900 made!

Year: 1950s – Shake up your make-up.

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Keep care of your lips and your body because they are even more precious than diamonds. Use the Tangee, and they will make sure that you get the best treatment for your body and your lips!

Year: 1930s – Booze for the blues.

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“If you’ve got a case of the blues, maybe all you need is some booze!” If you’re feeling down, the Phosferine tonic wine might be the cure for you. They say in the advertisement that it can cure depression, the flu, a hangover. And it also does what all booze does, it will lift you up!

Year: 1930s – Out of the womb isn’t too soon.

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We mentioned the earlier stages of the Coca-Cola recipe. You and me both know that those ingredients are not for adult people, let along an infant… So, the answer to the question is… as late as possible!

Year: 1950s – Winning wieners.

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I know I am putting a lot of thought in this advertisement… But, that’s why it was made. It used psychology to get to their target audience. Who wouldn’t want a skinless, bare and better wiener than the regular old wiener?!

Year: 1940s – King-sized carcinogens.

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Feel bigger, be bigger, look bigger by smoking these “King Size” cigarettes! Look like a king and get all the ladies. No need to decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke. You know what I say to this one? Feel the cancer, increase the chances of cancer and get cancer by smoking that much of these cigarettes!

Year: 1960 – The belle of the call.

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The poster speaks for itself for this ad… Do you want to be the number one person in your group? Or do you want to be popular and talk to a lot of people on the telephone? Well these outfits are made just for you! If being a telephone belle is your cup of tea, then go for it! Ads back in the days’ man, you either love them or you hate them!

Year: 1978 – When interwoven is chosen…

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Did you know that if you wear the right pair of socks, your woman will see you as a sexier man? Well, me neither but that is what this advertisement tries to convince us… Anyways, the idea is good for this ad, but the delivery wrecks it!

Year: 1968 – Savior behavior.

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Ahhh… the good old Kentucky Fried Chicken! And don’t think that this wasn’t rather innovative back in the time! To think that the woman didn’t need to cook you dinner at home and you can take away food from the restaurant? Madness, it was like they just reinvented the light bulb!

Year: 1905 – Soft as a baby’s… face.

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Babies shaving… Yup, that was the concept that these Gillette advertisers decided to build their advertisement on. But, we can cut Gillette some slack (no pun intended), because back in the time people still didn’t know that sharp objects and baby don’t go together pretty well… Or we can think that this was the case.

 Year: 1952 – A dress without stress.

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Show people how much you love them (And let them show you how much they love you) by allowing them to splash you with water! This innovative wrinkle free and water resistant fabric is going to leave everyone in awe. It will manage to fool everyone that it’s a new dress you’re just wearing it for the first time!

Year: 1949 – Of course they endorse…

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If you see your doctor doing something it doesn’t mean that you should do it too! Camel cigarettes are one of the things you can apply this rule to. I bet that if this ad ran on today’s TV it would be immediately taken down, and I even think that this is illegal to use someone’s profession in order to sell your product.

Year: 1962 – Decor for the floor.

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Is that woman his trophy of some kind? What is that supposed to mean? Like did he shoot her or something? Yeah, the pricing might be on point, and the wrinkle free material might be pretty cool… But, why would anyone think of buying after seeing this poster… I am confused right now!

Year: 1980 – The Juice is loose.

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If some of the most talented athletes encourage it, then why not? You should do the same, too, if you want to succeed and be out front.  It’s the key to winning.  Show them your heels, and be just like O.J.

4 Year: 1965 – A harmless harness.

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I don’t know what is crazier, the fact that seatbelts were already invented at the time of this commercial, or the fact that they spent time on re-inventing something that looked kind of new and exciting, and looked (but was not) really safe for the babies and children. Parents would actually buy this thinking they’re providing their children with a safer and more comfortable new invention!

Year: 1934 – Single and ready to mingle.

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Don’t you think it’s time you get married? Yeah, we’re talking to you, single lady… You know, you won’t be young forever, and the sea is already running out of fish! Well, if you want to get married, get Listerine, it will give you the breath that will get you a guy that wants to marry you… Oh If it really was that simple!

Year: 1950s – Action for a fraction.

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Action pants… Are their target audience people going into action, or people getting some action? According to the poster above, I’d say that they’re aiming towards the guys that are getting some action… But, with an ad like this, I don’t think that you would get to them!

Year: 1930s – Wealth over health.

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Healthy teeth and cigarettes… Hmm! Again, one of those ads that is misleading! But, wouldn’t you want to steer away from cigarettes if you want to keep your teeth healthy? Is it just me or is this dentist just lying to you through his teeth? (Again, no pun intended!)

Year: 1924 – Looks over books.

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Don’t try to read up on things, stop caring about your brains and focus only on your looks! That would be the smart thing to do right…? Oh… Well, there goes their theory. Anyways, it doesn’t look like the ministry of education had anything to do with this, or else it would’ve been much different!

Year: 1923 – Paint that makes you faint.

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Lead has been around for almost 9000 years. We all know the negative effect that come with it… But, people are attracted anyway… whether it’s because of its malleability and availability or because of the grown up metal paint book…?

Year: 1939 – Better smell swell.

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We need more of these kinds of ads today don’t you think? How many times have you ran away from someone just because they smelled bad? I know I have, or at least I have backed off a couple of feet… This is an example of a good ad and I think that it got lots of people buying deodorant back then… What do you think?

Year: 1906 – This generation needs education.

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Back in the day it was pretty common for nephews to drink alcohol with their grandfathers, not when they were young, but there wasn’t a law about it. Despite that we still don’t approve alcohol consumption for minors… Don’t you think that encouraging the youngsters to drink alcohol is a bit too edgy?

Year: 1967 – The goodness of Guinness.

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Guinness, they sure make some great ads nowadays… Not that this one is a bad one, but to claim that you only need beer in life?

Year: 1930s – The meaning of cleaning.

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Yeah personal hygiene is a good thing, but would your husband really leave you if you’re not taking care of yourself…? And if you think that he would, do you really need that husband in your life? This advertisement redefines what self-hygiene means and it did take it to another level!

Year: 1951 – Native is not creative.

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This Van Heusen clothing line advertisement did what most of the ads back in the time all did, and they did it with no shame at all! The pure desire for male power over the females it’s what drove this advertisement. You’ll get women all over you, you will be special and everyone will love you, just buy our clothes!

Year: 1910 – Not-so-dandy candy.

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Whooh, hope not too many parents gave their children these pills just because they were asking them to. I hope they found a way to explain that this is not a joke! Why would any company do something like this?

Year: 1967 – Equating and degrading.

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What the actual…?! I mean, WHY?! Oh my god…

Year: 1952 – Pre-presidential product placement.

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Using President Reagan as your mascot… I mean, I understand food and drink brands that have some kind of specially designed Christmas packaging. But why cigarettes…? What’s the point?!

Year: 1962 – An up-front stunt.

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Cigarettes which taste good? I don’t think I believe them! Maybe they’re just trying to ease you into the unpleasant taste of cigarettes. But, they sure know how to bring the focus, and if what I’ve heard is true, then the cigarettes will bring you into focus too, they’re pretty expensive, right?

Year: 1977 – Fun for everyone.

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This is the 70s weird and twisted way to start doing something for gender equality. I mean not that I judge them, don’t get me wrong. But, I think that this is more degrading than it’s helping for gender equality. Oh well, at least we hope that the candies were tasteful for all genders!

Year: 1971 – Simplistic and chauvinistic.

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I don’t know what’s with these “the simple is for the women” types of ads. I mean, why would you do something like this if your target audience really is the female population?!

Year: 1949 – Bold and controlled.

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Now, hasn’t Van Heusen been already on our list, why do we have another one of their ads? Oh right, because they continued with their utter and unbelievable “power and control” crap. They are promoting power and control with these kinds of degrading ads? I don’t think so! I wouldn’t be buying any of their products if this is the way that they were advertising!

Year: 1970 – A selective objective.

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Now, this is a good advertising campaign, at least in my book! They chose the losers, that didn’t get the job, and presented them. Practically they’re saying if the losers are this good, then imagine how good the winner is! And I am sure that it worked out for them!

5 Year: 1943 – An oppression obsession.

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God, I hate these ones. This is sexism at its finest form.

Year: 1946 – A warning for your morning.

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Waking up is one of the most important parts of the day. Ovaltine had to do a banging job in order to pass up as everyone’s first choice when it comes to chocolaty perk-me-up drinks!