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.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.