Times sure have changed over the last century or so when it comes to advertising. We’ll have a look at print ads from the early 1900s and up into the 50s. This is a bygone era when sexism was the norm. This was an era where racism and intolerance were a commonplace. Of course, they were not considered as such since they were reflective of the times.
Even now, TV ads get pulled from time to time because certain groups or organizations find them offensive. Complaining about ads back then probably wouldn’t do a whole lot. At least we can now look back and reflect on how far today’s society has come. Below, you will find some of the finest vintage print ads that I could find for your viewing pleasure.
Offensive and Sexist Print Ads from the Past
The company always used an African-American woman who was supposed to be a slave as a spokesperson. On the ads, she would use “Slave slang”.
AC Spark Plugs print ad depicting an African-American man as a monkey in a suit. During this era, many companies used monkeys or apes in place of African Americans.
Elliott’s White Veneer had an ad which showed an African American boy painting another African American boy with the veneer. It stated, “SEE HOW IT COVERS OVER BLACK”. Ridiculous eh?
Have a look at the gallery below for fine examples of racist and sexist print ads.