The loosening of restrictions on television/radio advertising stuns me sometime. When I was a young woman, we never saw feminine hygiene products before 9:00PM, and No One ever talked about men’s virility issues on TV, (with the possible exception of late night “call me for a good time” commercials, and that’s not what I am talking about here.) The euphemism, personal hygiene products, always stood in for maxi pads and tampons, sprays and douches, when I was a teen. Nobody ever called these items by name, although advertising language was often twisted to imply, often directed at the level of a woman’s self-esteem, especially in the 1950s”
“So humiliated when she realized the cause of her husband’s frigidity” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zonite_Products_Corporation) and here: This ad features a drawing of a distressed woman reading a pamphlet entitled Intimate Physical Facts, on the cover of which we see a woman in a bridal veil, her eyes downcast, (perhaps in modesty or shame?
“Why does he avoid her embrace?” featuring a drawing of a couple — he looking displeased and she a cross between worried and whiny. This ad was for Lysol — yes, the stuff you use on the kitchen floor, or to kill lice in clothing. I guess she’ll have a bug-free, chemical-smelling vagina, and her husband with become attentive again. (???)
And here’s another from Lysol: “I spelled marriage ‘mirage'” featuring the entire sad tale of a woman who, due to her neglect of feminine hygiene, lost the affection of her husband, Then her doctor told her to use Lysol, which she calls, “easy and economical.” Now, because she no longer walks around with a stinky vagina, her husband loves again. (These ads and more may be found here. Thanks, manboobz.)
Truly, times have changed. Witness this currently-running ad for Summer’s Eve Cleansing Wash and Cloths:
Now, this line of ads is also racist — three different ads include this pseudo-valley girl, one narrated by someone trying to sound like a Latina, and one obviously intended to appeal to black women. See some good commentary here. (Btw, The Young Turks is a terrific show — worth finding online, now that Current TV is Al-Jazeera America.)