22 Vintage Ads That Would Be Banned Today

Published on January 22, 2018
_______________________ ADVERTISEMENT _______________________

For years now, product advertisements have been a part of our every day lives. Some advertisements have made us laugh, cry, get all warm and fuzzy, and so on. However decades ago, ads were highly insensitive and greatly offensive – you name it, sexist, racist, harmful to young children – there was no line drawn in the sand. We’ve rounded up the most jaw-dropping vintage advertisements that you won’t believe were ever promoted.

Listen Up Kids

All right, as a lover of Coca-Cola, this ad is a bit much for me. Not only does it suggest drinking the highly sugar filled, caffeinated cola at a rather young age but it promises that if you do, you’ll lead a happier life. Pretty sure that’s false advertising and I don’t even have an online university degree to back up that theory. It’s common knowledge.

Listen Up Kids

Listen Up Kids

Babies Need To Shave…Since When?

What? Babies need to shave? If your head is spinning with disbelief then you’re not alone. Children have an innocence to them, one that should be cherished, not exploited.

Babies Need To Shave...Since When

Babies Need To Shave…Since When?

The Sega Stick

Subliminal messaging at its best, folks. Did we mention this is ALSO from the 40’s? Seems like the 40’s catered to serve just one demographic, the white male. And before I scream, say something totally inappropriate, and break my computer monitor, I’ll casually say, this would never be approved in today’s society. Thank goodness.

The Sega Stick

The Sega Stick

Deodorant Battle

Life in the 40’s was nothing like the world we know now, and that’s a given really. Moreover, life for women was something almost bordering the “Caveman” era because apparently a marriage wasn’t about love, trust, and respect. Instead a marriage could be broken simply by the wife wearing the wrong deodorant. Nope, not a typo, folks. You read that right.

Deodorant Battle

Deodorant Battle

A Cocaine Cure

Oh my, a vintage advertisement promoting…cocaine. Yeah, that’s right, cocaine. In today’s world, an ad like this wouldn’t even be a thought for marketers. Sad to see what people used to get away with, kind of makes me want to earn an online university degree for law to guarantee something like this never happens again.

A Cocaine Cure

A Cocaine Cure

Confucius Says

I don’t need a college degree online to know that this Kellogg vintage advertisement was crossing a serious line. While the promotion is geared for a television show, the text is highly inappropriate.

Confucious Says

Confucius Says

Who Run The World?

Excuse me?! My blood is boiling right now. A woman’s place is NOT in the kitchen and if this 40’s vintage advertisement doesn’t scream sexist then I don’t know what does.

Who Run The World

Who Run The World?

Flaws Are Not Welcome

Granted, in this social media crazed society, we all know a bit about filters, selfies, and picture perfect makeup. Combine the three and you have the most flawless post to gain likes, harmless in a sense really. However, way back when, the “Beauty Micrometer” existed. This product was able to analyze a woman’s face for any flaws and would instruct on the best course of action to correct said flaw. Ahem, no thanks.

Flaws Are Not Welcome

Flaws Are Not Welcome

A Well Read Woman

Can you guess what this vintage advertisement is promoting? Hint: it’s not books or the library. Hanes is actually selling stockings…yeah, let that sink in. Naturally the only ad that made sense was objectifying a woman as the sexy librarian. Smooth. Oh wait, no it’s not.

A Well Read Woman

A Well Read Woman

Fat-Shaming At Its Worst

Okay fine, women are still obsessed with the thought of having the perfect waistline, however this particular vintage advertisement took it to extreme proportions. Body image is a crisis we have yet learned to leave in the past.

Fat Shaming At Its Worst

Fat Shaming At Its Worst

Odd Man Out

Apparently Van Heusen believed that only one specific gentleman could wear their shoes and it’s easy to see which one, a white man. Not only is this racist but the fact that the only black man is dressed as a primitive being is outrageous.

Odd Man Out

Odd Man Out

Black Widow

I’m sorry but this vintage advertisement is a tough one to swallow. A woman depicted as “trapping” a man in her web or the idea that a woman must have stunning hygiene to “keep” a man – nope, I just can’t decide which one is worse. Safe to say, they’re both pretty darn infuriating.

Black Widow

Black Widow

Wife-Beater

Oh look, it’s the 40’s again (I’m really beginning to despise this era). The audacity to promote “wife-beating” is hands down one of the worst propaganda avenues we’ve ever laid eyes on. The worst.

Wife Beater

Wife Beater

Takes The Cake

Well, this vintage advertisement surely takes the cake. Come on, as far as offensive ads go, this one is insanely rude, and not just for women but those who have suffered or lost their lives to cancer. Did people not think back then? Well?

Takes The Cake

Takes The Cake

Golly, No

Ugh, just come on. I’d rather suffer through the search for perfect online colleges then look at this insensitive and completely uncharacteristic vintage advertisement. Why did people just assume that only an African-American could be a waiter and that they spoke in such a manner? No thanks.

Golly No

Golly, No

Rude Much?

Ahem, for starters, this company named their product “Rhum Negrita.” Need we say anything else? Pretty sure the name and image alone speak volumes.

Rude Much

Rude Much?

Too Far, Too Far

Anyone else feeling completely uncomfortable right now? Phew, we’re not alone then. Objectifying children, especially girls, is crossing the line.

Too Far Too Far

Too Far Too Far

Crossing A Line

[Insert eye roll here.] Thanks but no thanks, racial objectification is one of those lines in the sand that shouldn’t even exist. Come on, people, this is just ridiculous and we’re sick of it.

Crossing A Line

Crossing A Line

Neglect Like We’ve Never Seen

As far as sexist vintage advertisements, this one takes the cake. Lyson – a household cleaning company – actually chose to run with this ad. Implying that a woman should use damaging chemicals to manage her hygiene. Say what now? Yeah, we know. Doesn’t even make sense. Oh yeah, if she didn’t use Lysol for her hygiene needs, the man had the authority to lock her out of the bedroom. [Head shake + eye roll].

Neglect Like Weve Never Seen

Neglect Like Weve Never Seen

Beauty VS Brains

That’s right, in the 40’s, go figure, a woman couldn’t be pretty AND smart. She was one or the other. Actually, no, she was just pretty but only if she used a Palmolive skin product. Funny because now-a-days, women are dominating the sphere of online university and Ivy league schools.

Beauty VS Brains

Beauty VS Brains

Girl Power

Someone actually took the time to compile data of how many husbands find women irritating – furthermore they don’t say wives but just women in general! To top it off, the company recommends you solve this irritating problem with their new speedy remote while she’s in the kitchen. Cue the feminist rant here.

Girl Power

Girl Power

Wanted For Life

Oh look, another vintage advertisement objectifying women. Surprise, surprise. Not. The marketing company here is Lux which sold products to eliminate underwear odor and static cling but that’s not what they’re selling here. Nope, instead they’re a “Wanted” advertisement for women looking for husbands. A whole new low has been reached folks.

Wanted For Life

Wanted For Life

_______________________ ADVERTISEMENT _______________________