The Top 75 Most Offensive Ads in Modern History

Classic advertising can act as a pop culture history book, but some of the chapters are more than a little shocking.

75. The Projection of a Perfect Life

In the 1950s, home slide shows were all the rage after vacations. Families would invite friends and relatives over for refreshments and some small talk, then dim the lights and pull out the projector to relive the blurry, out-of-focus glory of their trip to the Adirondacks or California coast.

This ad, for the Bell & Howell Headliner Color Slide Projector, features a woman in what can only be described as a torpedo bra. It’s hard to imagine her audience looking at anything but her cone-shaped chest extruding outward – it defies the laws of physics, really.

Sabrina, as the model is called, was at least given the courtesy of facing the same direction as the images she was shining onto a wall, but the star of the ad is her chest. It was 1959 and the bra-burning days were still ahead for her.

74. Pants With an Action Zone

The advice to learn something new every day is good: there’s a big world out there and so much information to acquire. For starters, in the 1960s or so, men’s pants referred to the front zipper area between legs as a snack sack. Who knew?

And Shempley’s Department Store in Paterson, New Jersey, they were ready to accommodate all those men of action who needed more room in their groin area for all that movin’ and shakin’ they were doing.

After all, did any man want to be the kind of guy who needed only an average-sized “snack sack”? Who wouldn’t want a reinforced crotch zone?! “A man of action needs pants of action!” Oh yeah, this man was on the go and didn’t want his appendage to get left behind. Thank goodness for Sansabelt and their Action Pants.