Offensive and Sexist Ads From The Past


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”.

Racist Aunt Jemim Printed Ad from the 1950' class=

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.

Racist Spark Plugs Vintage Ad

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?

Racist Elliott's White Veneer Ad

Sexist Palmolive Print Ad

Racist Fairy Soap Print Ad

Sexist Hoover Vacuum Ad

Sexist Schlitz beer Ad

Sexist Pitney Bowes Ad

Walk all over women seixt vintage ad

Vintage racist Cream of wheat advertisement

Have a look at the gallery below for fine examples of racist and sexist print ads.


    • Justin V says

      Maybe something to do with “putting their heads together”, not the head on your shoulders but the other one? I’m guessing…

  1. Namma says

    Oh yeah, those ads for “feminine hygiene” because you’re “driving your man away with stank”.

    ROFL! As if men smell any better, especially those who don’t pull it back to wash that nasty gunk that gathers.

    So glad that nowadays we can equally tell them to F-off if they don’t clean themselves.

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