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12 sexist ads that companies wish we'd forget they ever made

“Most husbands, nowadays, have stopped beating their wives.”

AN AD FOR Protein World — a diet supplement — caused much debate earlier this year.

After it appeared in London underground stations, it was the subject of hundreds of complaints to the UK’s advertising watchdog regulator – mostly from people who believed it showed an unrealistic portrayal of a woman that might make other women feel their bodies were inferior.

Some called for ads that encourage women to become thinner to be banned because they are sexist. MP Caroline Noakes has started a campaign to ban models appearing on fashion catwalks and clothing ads if they have a Body Mass Index of less than 18.

102629646-ad_2.jpg.1910x10002 Source: Protein World

But … it could be worse, as these old ads show. Some of them are from major brands who doubtless cringe at what they did in the past.

Heinz, 1950: The ad begins, “Most husbands, nowadays, have stopped beating their wives…”

heinz-1950-the-ad-begins-most-husbands-nowadays-have-stopped-beating-their-wives- Source: Heinz

Van Heusen, 1951: “Show her it’s a man’s world.”


Chase & Sanborn, 1952: This ad makes light of domestic violence.

chase-and-sanborn-1952-this-ad-makes-light-of-domestic-violence Source: Chase & Sanborn Coffee

Schlitz, 1952: “Don’t worry darling, you didn’t burn the beer!”

schlitz-1952-dont-worry-darling-you-didnt-burn-the-beer Source: Schlitz

Alcoa, 1953: Alcoa Aluminum’s bottle caps open “without a knife blade, a bottle opener, or even a husband”.

alcoa-1953-alcoa-aluminums-bottle-caps-open-without-a-knife-blade-a-bottle-opener-or-even-a-husband Source: Alcoa Aluminum

Pitney-Bowes, 1953: It’s so easy to use that even a woman with “no mechanical aptitude” can operate it.

pitney-bowes-1953-its-so-easy-to-use-that-even-a-woman-with-no-mechanical-aptitude-can-operate-it Source: Palmolive

Unilever, 1955: Guess who does all the dishes?

unilever-1955-guess-who-does-all-the-dishes Source: Lux

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Budweiser, 1956: “Budweiser has delighted more husbands than any other brew ever known.”

budweiser-1956-budweiser-has-delighted-more-husbands-than-any-other-brew-ever-known Source: Budweiser

Drummond, 1959: Woman are “a drag”.

drummond-1959-woman-are-a-drag Source: Drummond

Kenwood, 1961: “That’s what wives are for!”

kenwood-1961-thats-what-wives-are-for Source: Kenwood

Acme, 1963: The most important quality in coffee is how much it will please your man.

acme-1963-the-most-important-quality-in-coffee-is-how-much-it-will-please-your-man Source: Acme Coffee

Brown & Williamson, 1967: “The best ones are thin and rich.”


- Jim Edwards

Read: These modern ads are even more sexist than their ‘Mad Man’-era counterparts

Read: Vanity Fair has kicked up a major sexism row with THIS photo

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