The Most Cringe-Inducing Ads Ever?

We live in the Age of Offendability, when the floors of public places seem to be carpeted with eggs. Yet we can all agree (or at least most of us can) that some things are always wrong: racism, sexism, drug abuse, endangerment of children. So it’s shocking to see how often these things have been used to hock products over the years!

Let’s offer:

Scorn where it’s truly deserved, 

Grace where values are new or evolving, and

Laughter where standards have changed with knowledge.

(Click on any image to enlarge it, or to begin slide show)

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Humor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to The Most Cringe-Inducing Ads Ever?

  1. trE says:

    Gawd, almighty! “They’re happy because they eat lard.”

    “Why doesn’t your mama wash you with fairy soap?”


    Liked by 3 people

  2. rothpoetry says:

    Unbelievable! Can you imagine any one of those ads airing on TV today! Looks like the pharma companies have always been the nations true drug pushers!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. GOOD GRIEF!!! Where did you find these?
    Is it pathetic that I remember a couple of them?
    I also remember “4 out of 5 doctors recommend _______ cigarettes…” :/

    Liked by 3 people

  4. on man – the stupid stuff we use to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kim Smyth says:

    It seems so crazy that these were ever allowed! A couple made me laugh out loud, some recoil in horror!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Clever Girl says:

    I dunno, I’m on board with the beating your wife one. Oh, and the cigarettes

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lisa Beth says:

    Shocking but hilarious. Btw, I needed chubby-girl clothes…it was embarrassing! 😕
    Great post, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Erika says:

    Wow, that’s really shocking to see. I cannot remember any advertisements like these ever over here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. boromax says:

    Wow! Quite an astonishing collection! “Senile Agitation,” no less. …I might resemble that one… but, really – Thorazine!!! Yikes.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. pkadams says:

    Wow! You found some real doozies! I’se go’n get me some that amphetamine! :p

    Liked by 1 person

  11. badfinger20 says:

    hmmm my tooth is starting to ache lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It is so amazing to see these. I actually remember some ads from my childhood and cringe when I think about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Judy Kim says:

    I love these! The peacock pants are amazing!🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  14. pastorpete51 says:

    I can’t believe that some of these were really ads. Wow some pretty funny some very sad. Especially liked the butter and Lard ones. Who knew how healthy they could be!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. tidalscribe says:

    Hard to pick the strangest – the thumb guard reminded me that parents used to put bitter allows on children’s finger nails to stop them biting them. I think Mum only tried that on me once – maybe it worked!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. smzang says:

    It is as you say, ‘scorn grace and laughter…’
    and the timing is perfect considering “how far we’ve come”.
    I comfort myself by believing that someday our current
    news headlines will be included in that collage…I can just
    hear Walter Cronkite’s trustworthy voice saying “and that’s
    the way it is”. A grand collection you have assembled!!


  17. carhicks says:

    I don’t know what to say. I am glad we have evolved over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ann Coleman says:

    Yes, values are constantly evolving, based on what we learn as a society. Which means we need to be very careful about thinking that our current values are always right, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. TEP336 says:

    Back before truth in advertising and industrial safety standards became a thing. Not to mention the amount of drugs in some of that stuff is just amazing. The wife beating book is nothing more than a sick joke. I mean, if I were ever to lift a finger against my wife…well, some of y’all might read about me in the paper. I’ll be the body they’re pulling out of the river. As for the racist ads, I think the reason why racial humor was so accepted in the 70s and 80s was because people simply needed to heal from things like Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement. Mitch, you did a great job in finding the cringe. Thank you for the reminder of how far we’ve come, and how far we’ve begun to regress. Here’s to better times in the future, sans much of the insanity of today.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. boromax says:

    LOL. My wife advised me of something similar early in our marriage. Not that I ever would anyway, but she warned me that if I ever struck her she would not just leave me; she would leave me in several pieces scattered all over the country.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Candice says:

    Ack! So many shocking ads! Racism, abuse, etc. How about that one telling us how to prop our kids on a board so they can fly right through the windshield if we stop suddenly. At least my clothes won’t be wrinkled. And the gun that’s safe for kids to play with???

    Liked by 1 person

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