Ads From Back In The Day

“The term political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct; commonly abbreviated PC) is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. Since the late 1980s, the term has come to refer to avoiding language or behavior that can be seen as excluding, marginalizing, or insulting groups of people considered disadvantaged or discriminated against, especially groups defined by sex or race. In public discourse and the media, it is generally used as a pejorative, implying that these policies are excessive or unwarranted.

While earlier usage of the term referred to the strict adherence to political orthodoxy, the contemporary pejorative usage of the term emerged from conservative criticism of the New Left in the late 20th century. This usage was popularized by a number of articles in The New York Times and other media throughout the 1990s, and was widely used in thedebate about Allan Bloom’s 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind, and gained further currency in response to Roger Kimball’s Tenured Radicals (1990), and conservative author Dinesh D’Souza’s 1991 book Illiberal Education, in which he condemned what he saw as liberal efforts to advance self-victimization and multiculturalism through language, affirmative action, and changes to the content of school and university curricula.”

The above is from the first paragraphs in an article on “P.C,” in Wiki.

Times have certainly changed in my 76 years.  Its been more than three decades since I heard grease ball, wop or dago uttered to my face.  Among my family, friends and acquaintances I have not heard in decades any of the other pejorative terms for other ethnic groups either.

I too no longer use the language which was common in my youth, not so much for fear of consequences but because I have changed.  With age came the wisdom that we are all here through no fault of our own, want the same things in life and are entitled to live our lives as we choose.

We have come a long way (at least a goodly number of us) in half a century plus.  Women have empowered themselves; racial and ethnic groups now have a voice; gay folks can marry and women can choose.

It wasn’t always so and that time when it was not is not ancient history.

I thought it might be interesting, particularly for those no where near as old as I to put up some advertisements from my youth.  Some might find these ads shocking but it seems like a good way to demonstrate from whence we have come.

So I will be posting a series of advertisements run in major newspapers and magazines of the 1950s and ’60s.  It is a pictorial of what I read when growing up in America.

I will put up several a day for the next few weeks.  Hope you enjoy and learn.


This was an ad encouraging parents to feed their kids more sugar.  It gives you energy and quenches fatigue.  It came out as the sugar free diet soda Tab first hit the market.  I think we would all laugh at this today in light of our levels of obesity and diabetes.  Notice that the young lady does “girl” things as it takes a swipe at long haired guys.


This was a typical ad portraying Latinos, in this case Mexicans.  Sombrero, donkey, rum and accent.  Think Mexicans liked it?  I think not.  Would you if your ethnic group was the subject?  Besides, the rum was made in Puerto Rico.


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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4 Responses to Ads From Back In The Day

  1. I distinctly remember that sugar ad!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    I didn’t see the same ads as you, but we had some very ‘English’ versions of the same thing. Naturally, they managed to inject some ‘class structure’ into them over here. 🙂
    Best wishes,Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can you imagine the uproar if this appeared on our screens today! lol, love this. Have a great Sunday.


  4. Jennie says:

    Great post, Frank. There are so many non-PC ads from the ‘50s. Like you, I remember them well, and also remember the words and slurs. Looking forward to more ads!

    Liked by 1 person

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