Dishonest, Racist, Sexist: The Despicable World of 20th century Adverts.

Lucky Strike, 1930. To counter the health concerns around smoking, ad men simply enlisted their own men in white coats.
Photograph: Lord, Thomas & Logan Agency, 1930

Elliott’s White Veneer paint, 1930s. Pears soap was sold as being so effective that black skin could be scrubbed clean. This advert for paint plumbs similar depths of offensiveness.
Photograph: Lake County Museum/Corbis
from the book Beyond Belief: Racist, Sexist, Rude, Crude and Dishonest, The Golden Age of Madison Avenue by Charles Saatchi, Published by Booth Clibborn Editions £25.

Iver Johnson firearms, 1904. This US weapons manufacturer makes some puzzling claims for a gun that can ‘shoot straight and kill’ while being ‘absolutely safe’
Photograph: Harpers, 1904.
Source: Racist, ​s​exist, rude​ and crude​: the worst of 20th century advertising – in pictures | Media | The Guardian

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