Keyword Archives: sexism

May 17 2016

Are Racist and Sexist Ads a Thing of The Past?

beyondbelief

Left: Tipalet cigars, Young & Rubicam. Right: Weyenberg Massagic shoes, Playboy, 1972. Beyond Belief: Rude, Crude, Sexist, Racist and Dishonest, The Golden Age of Madison Avenue, by Charles Saatchi.

Before he was an art collector, Charles Saatchi started in advertising in the 1960s. With his brother he started the ad agency Saatchi and Saatchi, which became the biggest in the 1980s with over 600 offices. Recently Charles Saatchi published Beyond Belief: Rude, Crude, Sexist, Racist and Dishonest, The Golden Age of Madison Avenue. The book is a collection of sexist and racist advertisements from the Mad Men age of advertising, roughly from the 1930s to the 1970s. What is interesting that the book does not show ads after the 1980s, implying that the advertising industry has learned its lesson and since then does no longer tolerate sexism or racism. Obviously, ads still objectify women sexually and many ads still use racist and ethnic stereotypes. Although more implicit, sexism and racism have never left advertising. When his former agency M&C Saatchi Australia celebrated its 21st birthday in January 2016, it did by having women jump out of a cake, as if the age of Mad Men never stopped.

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