It’s amazing to discover that once upon a time in the Western world, women were looked down upon and treated as inferior to men.
This was always depicted in most of the advertisements and promotions during the booming 1950s and 1960s post-war era. America was awash with consumer goods and a creative and ruthless team of advertising executives, under agency boss Don Draper, charged with selling them to a newly wealthy US public.
Take the advert above for example. Women’s liberation didn’t cut much ice in Madison Avenue. Girls were seen as weak and inferior – and would simperingly fall for anyone wearing Weyenberg shoes
Fast forward to the present day and look how things have evolved. This means that there’s indeed hope that one day, the African continent would be totally revolutionized to give women the respect that they truly deserve.
These adverts were compiled by Charles Saatchi in his new book “Beyond Belief: Racist, Sexist, Crude And Dishonest: The Golden Age Of Madison Avenue” and is published by Booth-Clibborn Editions.
“I became intrigued after discovering real-life adverts from the era that were in bewilderingly poor taste. So I set myself the grimly amusing task of collecting as many examples of them as possible.
They show that marketing men – and they were mostly men – in the middle of the last century had few qualms about creating brutally sexist and racist adverts that would never see the light of day today and which most of us now would find offensive to the point of callousness.
But back then, the advertising men would brush off any criticism of being misogynistic, wryly explaining that misogynists are men who don’t hate women as much as women hate each other.
The ad men pushed valium as a way to pacify women, to help them ‘behave as a dutiful mother and wife, silent and without revolt’
And while slavery had long been abolished and civil-rights campaigners were pricking the public consciousness, deeply racist advertising was considered acceptable in America’s boardrooms and their advertising agencies, as long as it was deemed to be light-hearted and folksy.
Looking at the ads today, nothing about them could be described as fondly jocular. Quite the reverse.
Although many of the advertisements I’ve selected are grotesque and alarming, they present an important portrait of American society of the Mad Men era and, thankfully, demonstrate that we have taken many steps forward.”
© Charles Saatchi, 2015
Source: DailyMail UK