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Yikes. Vintage Ads That Should Never Have Seen The Light Of Day

Roger Cumberbatch 13-17 minutes 9/16/2022

For decades, advertising companies have known their target audiences and how to attract them.

That being said, there are many classic advertisements featuring content and images that would never be accepted today.

Here, Drink This

To spike someone’s drink, even a friend, is to illegally put something in it that alters their mood and behavior.


Illegally spiking a drink could encourage even more criminal activity.

You've Had Enough Sir


In this ad, a woman is serving wine to two men.

Today, both the man trying to grab her and the man sleeping would be removed for being publicly intoxicated.

Puff, Puff Away


Smoking cigarettes has been proven to cause health problems. Cigarette packaging today contains warnings and ads only highlighting smoking's harmful effects.

Ads today would encourage quitting, not smoking more.

Beach Day


This ad image would not survive the presses today because it is illegal to drink alcohol on the beach.

The ad also implies the beers will somehow lighten the mood.

Special Delivery


Advertisements promoting smoking would never receive permission to be shown today.

The caption and ad image promise pleasure from smoking cigarettes, especially if they are being delivered by a pretty woman.

Drink Pepsi. All Of The Attractive Women Do


Vintage soft drink advertisements with attractive women, in suggestive positions was commonplace.

This ad and caption imply that refreshing involves drinking Pepsi and having the company of an attractive woman.

Pretty Please With A Coke On Top


Submissiveness and sexuality are subtly suggested in this ad's headline and imagery.

The advertisement shows a young woman appearing to beg for permission from her man for a soft drink.

'H' Is For Hemorrhoids


Advertising for medication that relieves Hemorrhoids itself is harmless and still exists today.

The imagery and wording of the advertisement would be more subtle and likely hidden from plain view.

Barbie Doesn't Live Here


Frolic? This advertisement makes absolutely no attempt to disguise that this is a place to drink, dine, dance, and frolic.

The advertisement would invite daily raids by the police today.

Probably Wouldn't Cut The Cheese


Actress Joan Caulfield is apparently advertising a line of cheesecakes bearing her name in this advertisement.

The thing is, there is zero cheesecake, and its irrelevant suggestiveness would cancel this advertisement today before production started.

No Need 'Fur' This Type Of Advertising Today


Why this advertisement would not get seen today is an endless list of reasons.

First, the cats (women) are enticingly teasing the dog (a man), and fur coats are taboo.

I'll Just Help Myself


While this appears to be for a non-alcoholic beverage, this cider advertisement's imagery very closely resembles beer.

Companies and society would take issue with someone serving themselves from a keg.

Sorry Girls


There is no doubt Sumner, Washington, is an excellent place to raise children, but this advertisement purposely excluded girls.

This ad reeks of misogyny, implying girls cannot be raised there.

Nothing Like Hot Chocolate After Badminton


There is low-key suggestiveness in this ad's image. Women playing sports while wearing dresses is hard no today.

Ads today showcase the athletic prowess of women, which this does not.

Tide Laundry Detergent And Bodywash


Women worldwide single-handedly manage work while raising children every day.

Objections would probably be to her outfit, the children's safety, and the validity of this soap for washing clothes and people.

Judge, Jury, And...


Our televisions and social media apps are littered with ads endorsing multidimensional tools these days.

This ad over-simplifies how to purchase a dangerous product that could be weaponized. And it is for children!

These Suits Are Breathtaking


On its own, this advertisement is not particularly misogynistic or objectionable.

Today's medical standards, however, probably would not support advertising these special suits due to the potential for bodily harm.

Dear Santa, I Really Want A Carpet Sweeper For Christmas


Bissell still produces carpet sweepers today, but without the use of an obviously misogynistic advertisement like this one.

Society today would not accept advertising cleaning products as presents for women.

Plastic Made A Home, A Clean Home


Almost every American household during the period of this advertisement had plastic covering for everything inside the house.

This image is misogynistic and implies a house's cleanliness is the responsibility of women.

This Better Not Clash With My Outfit


Anyone viewing this ad would be distracted from realizing that it's endorsing electronics.

No demonstration of how the product works. Not to mention, the women's low-cut sweater has nothing to do with the product.

This Party Needs A Little Mood Music


This ad's image and caption infer that the"fun" being referred to is not appropriate around children.

Barely recognizable is the self-playing piano that is hidden behind the ad's naughty overtures.

Time For Some Accounting And A Smoke


A few images in this advertisement would instantly prevent it from being seen today.

Flowers and the photo suggest a female smoker calculating something while she waits for her husband.

1, 2, 3, Pull


Pictured here are half-naked children using a spool of cotton strong enough to capture an elephant.

Child labor laws and the children's semi-nudity would not go over well today at all.

Just Wait For Me To Get My Second Wind


On the surface, ads for relief of almost any stomach ailment are nothing new or offensive.

What eliminates this ad from acceptability today is that the man's issue is alcohol-induced.

Perfect Place For A Bachelor Party


What is lost in this advertisement is that it endorses a health spa, which is perfectly legitimate.

Images of the devilish figure and the woman curiously gazing imply inappropriate behavior.

Loser Does 10 Push-ups


Misogyny is the main issue with the images in this advertisement.

A group of women who are playing pool in dresses while the portrait is of men supposedly doing real work.

Probably Can't Bring The Wife And Kids Here


Nudist resorts usually offer these services that are otherwise inappropriate.

What the ad more than directly points out is that these places are private and come with exclusive arrangement possibilities.

Animal Rights Groups, Line Up Here


Nobody is doubting the claim made by the caption that the fur sold at this store is beautiful.

Animal rights groups and animal lovers, however, would take issue with the fur-collection process.

Look To The Left And Hold Still Please


What exactly would the men reading this advertisement be in demand of?

Capitalization within the caption and the woman pictured implies that men who can draw will automatically attract more women.

Put On Your Helmet Sweetie, Mommy's Taking You For A Stroll


False and dangerous advertising would begin the list of objections to this advertisement.

The ad's "common sense" that it refers to is contradicted and outweighed by the stroller's safety concerns.