advertising

Is "Girl-Power" Advertising Doing Any Good?

A Pantene ad points out sexist double standards, then encourages women to “shine strong” with their shampoo.  I can see the history book headlines now: “Feminism Through Capitalism: How Tampon and Soap Commercials Struck The Fatal Blow To Sexism in 2014.”  Read more »

Capitalism Hates a Hand-Me-Down

Old Navy divides even lunch bags into “boys only” and “girls only.”  Until I became a parent almost eight years ago, I had never thought much about gender in children’s clothes and toys. Read more »

Good-bye, Fabulous Hologram Dreams of Jem.

When I was 10 in October 1985, “Jem and the Holograms,” an animated half-hour program about an all-girl band, made its debut. I was all about it. Now, almost 30 years later, Jem and the Holograms are staging a comeback, via a new live-action... Read more »

In India, Durex Sells Condoms with a Sex-Positive Bollywood Dance Video

Bollywood has always been squeamish about sex. So it is big news when a mainstream Hindi film actor decides to not just endorse a condom brand but to also celebrate having great sex.   Read more »

Don't Be a Dick: The Gender Dynamics of Marketing Comics

Welcome back to Don’t Be a Dick, The Ladydrawers Comics Collective’s in-depth look at comics and gender diversity, presented in partnership with Bitch Media. This is the fourth in a series of ... Read more »

The Most Terrible Super Bowl Commercials

This Super Bowl, we learned a few things: Bruno Mars has a twin brother/two-bit doppelganger who plays drums in his band. Wearing Axe body spray will create world peace. And Morpheus will pretend he respects Kia for some amount of money. Read more »

How Vintage Ads Sold Women on Shame

One vintage ad warns women, “Don’t let them call you SKINNY!” while another promises that smoking cigarettes will keep one slender. If the task of morphing their bodies into the current desirable shape isn’t enough of a burden, women are also reminded that they stink. The ... Read more »

Will Interracial Relationships Ever Be Common on TV?

I’m usually skeptical of advertising. I know companies spend millions of dollars hoping that their body lotion or paper towels or lunch meat will bring me to tears.  But ads are powerful. They’re a form of media where we see representations of ourselves and our... Read more »

Douchebag Decree: Clear Channel

Clear Channel is a behemoth—the media conglomerate owns 850 radio stations, making them the gatekeeper of mainstream radio airwaves across much of the country. And this week, the company is being a total douchebag. The crime? Refusing to run ads for the... Read more »

The Worst Tooth Fairy You Will Ever See.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood discovered what may be the worst new toy of the year: The Real Tooth Fairies,... Read more »

Pages

The Forgotten History of the Women Who Shaped Modern Advertising

It's easy to dismiss advertising as an anti-feminist industry. Read more »