14 Offensive, Appalling Vintage Ads That Would Never Be Published Today


Many people find themselves wishing for the days of simplicity — otherwise known as the “good ‘ol days.” It is assumed that back in the day, people weren’t so overly sensitive and politically correct all the time. However, looking at some of these ads from the past, maybe they could have used a few filters.

Each of the following ads was actually published to promote various products resulting in mind-blowing disrespect towards animals, minorities, and women. Taking the whole “sex sells” idea to new levels, your jaw will drop when you see just what people were able to get away with.


14. A Surefire Way To Keep Your Wife In Tip-Top Shape

001-14-a-surefire-way-to-keep-your-wife-in-t-792666Nothing is worse for a woman than the knee and back pain that comes along with extensive hours of stove cleaning. Thankfully there is a solution – Brown ranges!

The stove company makes sure to let customers know they care about their wives’ aches and pains which is why they created a stove with such advanced technology. Nothing would be worse than losing a wife to excessive cleaning — who would make dinner?

13. Doctor’s Orders

002-13-doctor-s-orders-792892When it comes to anything health related there is no one more reliable to consult than the doctor. So imagine the confusion when something as toxic as cigarettes was recommended by no other than your trusty doctor.

In fact, Camel claims more doctors smoke their cigarettes than any other brand. Further making their case, Camel describes the doctors who smoke their cigarettes as scientists and diplomatic — someone whose opinion customers can trust. A smoke a day will keep the doctor away!

12. Good News Ladies

003-12-good-news-ladies-49cc0ae5fd8afc1cdffb0cb646488bf9During the war, families often were split up with the men off fighting and the women running the household. Although women weren’t allowed to fight, thankfully it turned out they were not totally useless after all.


As this war ad shows, women were asked to help out in the factories until the men came back. Proving maybe they weren’t so bad after all.

11. Little Lolita

004-11-little-lolita-792948The sex sells motto of years ago seems to hold no boundaries, stretching it as far as making even the youngest girls seem attractive. Nothing says let’s buy some cosmetics like a child dressed up as an adult holding a teddy bear with a sultry expression.


Creeped out yet?

10. Boys Rule Girls Drool

005-10-boys-rule-girls-drool-793002Men, have no fear — you can show off just how attractive you are in your Drummond climbing sweater without the hassle of hiking with women. Thank goodness for that.

This ad gives a glimpse into how the time period compared women to men and the lack of respect there was towards women. However, if you think this is bad wait until the next slide.

9. The Answer Is Yes. Always.

006-9-the-answer-is-yes-always-793025Sometimes women can be so unreasonable, especially when working that darn postage meter. However no matter how frustrating, it is never okay to kill a woman. Or a man. Or really anyone.

Not exactly sure what this ad was selling, but it is shockingly more tasteful than the next one.

8. What Kind Of Soap Do You Use?

007-8-what-kind-of-soap-do-you-use-793035Wow. There are not many words to describe the downright horrifying message this ad shows. Riddled with racism and ignorance, this ad is definitely one that could have used a second thought before publication.

Fairy Soap is telling their customers their soap is SO good it can clean absolutely anything, apparently even skin color.

7. Specially Made For Those Delicate Hands

008-7-specially-made-for-those-delicate-hand-793040Women have naturally smaller hands that sometimes cause nothing but problems. Attempting to use something as simple as a pen can be so troublesome!


Thankfully, Parker Pens came up with a solution — pens for women. These pens write just as well as men’s pens but are smaller, and more comfortable for the woman’s hand.

How thoughtful.

6. All I Want For Christmas

009-6-all-i-want-for-christmas-793044It is common to make a list of desired gifts for the holidays, and this vintage ad is open to giving a few tips. Ladies, circle the high-end gifts you truly want — choose between toasters, mixers, or coffee pots. Then simply slightly cry to your man.


Don’t cry too much, though — that is just a nuisance.

5. Not Sure What Sonic The Hedgehog Would Think

010-5-not-sure-what-sonic-the-hedgehog-would-793048Sega is a brand that is still familiar today, so it is extra hilarious that they printed an ad like this. Using a twist of humor with the idea that sex sells, Sega compared the exhilarating feeling of playing a video game to that of masturbating with some pretty graphic language.

4. Where Exactly Does A Woman Belong?

011-4-where-exactly-does-a-woman-belong-793054This ad is confusing. Not exactly sure what the ad is selling, or why they believe women belong naked on the floor staring longingly at a shoe.

Perhaps they feel by easily distracting her with a shoe she will simply stay in one place and do as she’s told?

3. So Easy Even A Baby Can Do It

012-3-so-easy-even-a-baby-can-do-it-793058Gillette wanted to emphasize just how simple and safe it is to use one of their razors, and who better to promote that than a baby?

The ad promotes being able to start shaving as early as desired. So grab your babies and extra safe Gillette razors for the smoothest shave imaginable.

2. Get Your Narcotic Supplies Here

013-2-get-your-narcotic-supplies-here-50b9e29a58b099107604147762aa6689There was a time period where cocaine was not only legal but prescribed by doctors as well. During that time advertisers decided to take advantage of that market by using women and cocaine to sell tools for cocaine use.

With all of the anti-drug ads of today, it shows just how far we have come since then.

1. Walk All Over Her

014-1-walk-all-over-her-794379Women were seen as inferior to men — little more than housekeepers. Advertising their new animal skin rugs, Leggs does a great job of disrespecting women and animals in one giant swoop.

The ad promotes walking all over women like they are simply a rug. A $12.95 rug at that.

It seems safe to say that the marketing world has come a long way over the years. While some of these issues still exist today, it is comforting that ads like these are no longer used.

Some of these ads are truly horrifying, but they do show a timeline of how the world has evolved over the years, and as an important record of the past (the hope being we do not repeat it).

Racism, sexism, and all-around disrespect for human beings are splashed throughout the pages promoting hate and ignorance more than the products they are supposed to be promoting.