The world isn’t entirely free from ads that shock us for all the wrong reasons. It wasn’t so long ago that German car manufacturer Audi compared finding a used vehicle to finding a wife (in an ad that aired in China), or that Co-op supermarket caused outrage by suggesting parents “treat” their daughters for doing the washing up (in a UK print ad campaign).
So we haven’t completely left the misogynistic “Mad Men” days behind us, but the occasional sexist faux-pas is nothing compared to what used to be churned out by ad companies. It’s hard to believe people who were presumably deemed to be intelligent enough to make advertising decisions on behalf of the world’s biggest companies actually put this stuff out there. But they did, and it serves as a reminder to us that however bad things seem, they’re a lot better than they used to be. And we’re not just talking about misogyny. There’s also racism, doctors promoting cigarettes and grossly inappropriate parenting decisions.