Over on the digital journalism website owni.eu they’ve posted an article titled Top 48 ads that would never be allowed today.
Some of them are hilarious in the sense that no person in their right mind today would ever hint at some of what is portrayed or suggested in these advertisements…at least in public.
For example, the husbands using corporal punishment on wives. Or dentists and doctors promoting the smoking of cigarettes. Or the soap companies suggesting that if a black person used soap to bathe they would no longer be dirty. Rolling my eyes at that one only because I have a friend who spent a few years of her early childhood in Italy and vividly remembers white people there rubbing hankerchiefs on her skin to see if the colour would come off. The gall!
But some of the other advertisements are not only a reflection of the good ole times. After I took a class in college looking at how the media affects body image of girls and women (amongst other topics) I have been highly tuned into whatever subliminal and not so subliminal messages are out there in the movies we watch, the music we listen to and the magazines we read.
This website has included in their list of “ads that would not be allowed today” ads for cleaning products but tell me, when was the last time you saw an ad for Swiffer Jet featuring a man cleaning the floor and saying adieu to the mophead? Or one for Mr. Clean where it is a man who needs help making the kitchen chrome sparkle? Or one for Tide or Downy where it is a man doing the laundry? Please direct me to those modern advertisements. And while you are at it, do not mention Mr. Dyson with his Dyson ball vacuums because all he’s doing is showcasing his brilliance and intelligence in engineering a machine to make the lives of women easier.
Some things just don’t change.