Example One: Is it me, or do the bare buns in this ad seem just a little bit child-porny?  It’s a nice example of how our sensibilities change; these days there is a loud and ubiquitous discourse around children’s vulnerability to sexual exploitation.  A discourse that, I think, would make this ad inappropriate today.

Example Two: After decades of anti-smoking public health initiatives which included, along with health warnings, the association of smoking with bad breath, yellow teeth, and stinking clothes and hair, I somehow don’t think food would be marketed with a cigarette in its mouth (1950).

Example Three: This candy ad begins “Some tigers eat people.  I eat tigers.  His tail was 3 chocolates longer.”  Then, it continues, “P.S. I made a gun from the tube.”   Today, in most parts of the U.S., childhood innocence is no longer marketed with firearms.

Source: Vintage ads (here, here, and here) and Found in Mom’s Basement.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.