Late last year, I posted a couple of particularly egregious examples from the latest Communication Arts Advertising Annual of ads playing on the worst sorts of misogynistic stereotypes. One of the ads, for Skins She exercise apparel, began with the copy, "Get the body every other woman would love. To spit on."
I was doubly astonished that these were ads that were targeted at women, and that the selection panel that chose them for the annual (as among the "best" advertising of the year) included three women (out of a total of eight members).
Just so that no one gets the impression that this is some sort of recent phenomenon, I present the following ad for "Distinction" by Triumph of Europe from the distant shadows of 1960.
Does this sort of thing actually work? Do enough women respond positively to the promise that buying a product will cause other women to hate them that this is seen as an evergreen messaging theme? It would appear that, for the last 50 years at least, people both inside the advertising industry and those judging the "quality" of the industry's output seem to think the answer is "yes."
Have I mentioned that I'm convinced we're doomed?