The Mad Men era of advertising may well be over, but the adverts that came with it are still very much in existence. Shocking, offensive and often even mildly amusing in their total disregard for equality and – quite frankly – taste, we bring you 10 of the most sexist advertisements ever…
1. WEYENBERG MASSAGIC SHOES
In 1974, this ad ran in Playboy magazine, so we’ll take a wild guess and say that the readership wasn’t exactly going to be the most high brow. Nonetheless, the screaming sexism is pretty hard to avoid – “keep your woman where she belongs”, read as: “naked on the floor by your feet? Oh, but of course.”
2. DOLCE & GABBANA
Dolce & Gabbana are no strangers to controversy, and this advert from 2007, where they pretty much depicted a gang rape, in all its grisly glory, was no exception.
This seemingly harmless advert from the 1950s would no doubt call for a serious backlash in today’s equal-rights driven world, with just those simple opening lines lending themselves effortlessly to the casual abundance of sexism from yesteryear, because, of course, women can’t drive!
4. SCHLITZ BEER
Oh look, just your typically sexist ad from the 1950s, because thank goodness a woman can’t burn the beer!
We assume the aim of this controversial advert was to sell the (actually rather stunning) red dress, but it only makes us want to dial 999 and forget we ever saw it.
6. CHASE AND SANBORN
Because domestic violence sells… apparently.
7. WWII, US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
You might expect it from a beer brand, tolerate it from a fashion brand, but when it comes from the US Department of State, well things can get a little out of hand. Even with the jovial use of the word “gals” we find it pretty hard to avoid the outrageous notion of the selling line: “Turns out you gals are useful after all.”
So bad, we had to include two. We may like their suits, but their adverts don’t exactly have us running for the shop door. Their oh-so-subtle message of “buy our suit and women will get naked for you and probably have sex with you too” seems to have been created by two horny teenage boys in their parents basement after reading “A Dummy’s Guide to Advertising” and over-hearing the words “sex sells”.
If there’s one thing women are known for, it’s got to be their lack of strength – right? Well apparently so if this old advertisement from Ketchup has anything to do with it.
Unsurprisingly, Lynx had rather a few to choose from, but this one really took the biscuit for us – there’s simply nothing subtle about it.