Bad Ads

The Guardian newspaper published some examples of bad ads brought to you by the boys from Madison Avenue.

Elliott’s Paint, 1930s. Pears soap was sold as being so effective that black skin could be scrubbed clean. This advert for paint plumbs similar depths of offensiveness

Photograph: Lake County Museum/Corbis/Beyond Belief

Advertisement for Elliott’s White Veneer<br>Beyond Belief: Racist, Sexist, Rude, Crude and Dishonest, The Golden Age of Madison Avenue by Charles Saatchi, Published by Booth Clibborn Editions £25.

Love Cosmetics, 1975. This campaign used a sexualised image of a prepubescent girl, apparently forgetting that women were its target audience.

Photograph: Wells, Rich, Greene Agency/Beyond Belief

Love Cosmetics, Wells, Rich, Greene Agency, 1975

Broomsticks, 1967. The women in this bizarre game – Rosie, Carol or Eleanor – may be interchangeable, but only one brand of slacks will do

Photograph: GQ/Beyond Belief

Broomsticks, GQ, 1967

Beyond Belief, a new book by Charles Saatchi, brings together the most shocking advertising campaigns of the last century. From racism and sexism to dodgy health claims, nothing was out of bounds for the real-life Mad Men.

Beyond Belief: Racist, Sexist, Rude, Crude and Dishonest, The Golden Age of Madison Avenue by Charles Saatchi, (£25, Booth Clibborn Editions). Buy a copy for £20 including free p&p at bookshop.theguardian.com

(Note: this post is not a paid advertisement for the book mentioned above, nor do I receive any financial compensation for including link to the bookshop on The Guardian. I felt these offensive ads needed mentioning.)

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