10 Crazy Ads That Would Never Make It Today

crazy ads cellophane

By Heather CallaghanEditor

There’s too much crazy news in the world – but if you’re not crying, why not laugh? And by that I don’t mean laugh at ourselves, but laugh at the ridiculous antics of old timey ad execs. They were Mad Men indeed.

We are excluding sexist ads (sexist against both women and men) and those with freaky looking children since both of those could be their own top 10 list.

Without further ado, here are 10 crazy ads that wouldn’t make the cutting room floor in today’s world.


  1. Dupont Cellophane

Leave it to DuPont to think enclosing babies in airtight bags equals PR gold. They were so sure they had this one “in the bag” that they didn’t even try to humanize their message. The babies are prisoners, and you want to know the scary part? I’m not even sure these pictures are hand drawn – what if they used live baby models and suffocated them in killer gift baskets? Just look at their expressions – the one on the left has clearly lost too much oxygen. One of them is making a futile attempt to point to the cameraman for help. And the baby being carried by the stork? *gulp* it might be too late for him… Way to go, Monsanto’s Twin! In a weird act of symbolism, it’s like DuPont knew that future generations would be “drowning” in their plastics.

2. Try the Sugar Diet

This ad hilariously claims that sugar will increase your willpower to curb appetites and eat less. And it’s true – that’s why every single person in America is thin and healthy. Refined sugar is totally not crack for the brain and never leads to eating more sugar! *head slap!* This ad is not bad because of the message it promotes. It’s bad because the chocolate bar makes the guy look like Abraham Lincoln with a herpetic outbreak.

Look at the way that sugar made that poor woman forget how to drink with a straw.

3. Vitamin Donuts

Mmmm donuts – these sugary, fried flour rings are Homer Simpson approved! Need I say more?

4. Get the Lead On

When you eat paint chips, the cutlery really comes to life.

Are you lacking lead in your life? Higher IQs can be really pesky. Try blunting it with lead products and don’t forget to teach your children with a fun coloring book!

Interesting note, why did the EPA take action on lead but not on so many other environmental toxins? Some people surmise that getting rid of lead in paint allows for better surveillance into homes and less protection for radiation. Weird! Still, we are thankful that children are no longer chewing on lead toys!

5. DDT as a Miracle Cure

There’s too much to say about this and I can’t crack a joke here. This poisonous pesticide was a scourge on the earth and used everywhere! As wallpaper, as objects placed in children’s rooms and sprayed on children in public. Despite the ads, no, DDT was not a very good supplement!

DDT is in you and me and despite finally being illegal in the U.S., it is here to say. This stuff doesn’t break down easily, and passes from generation to generation through DNA and breastfeeding. It is still found in most people as well as two-thirds of cream samples, and multiple produce samples. It can still cause devastating neurological issues, endocrine disruption and reproductive harm. Despite many websites and articles today that want DDT back (and curse Rachel Carson), they are wrong when they blame the Silent Spring author for malaria. DDT is still used to prevent malaria in some countries, so how do we explain that?

6. Arsenic wafers for youthfulness


It has taken centuries for people to inch away from poisonous arsenic and mercury as a curative remedy and skin care product. Those who used arsenic creams in the 1800s most likely had disfigured faces later on.

7. Dog rides outside of car

No prizes for guessing why this is no longer a thing.

8. Iver Johnson Revolvers

If this ad makes you uncomfortable, you were raised in the Clinton Administration. Probably shouldn’t test the safety of weaponry with unsupervised gun play, though.

9. Chesterfield and Camel Cigarettes

It’s scientific!

10. At Home Shock Treatments

It’s scientific!

Which ad was the most ridiculous? Sound off below and don’t forget to share!


DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

favorite-velva-smallHeather Callaghan is a Health Mentor, writer, speaker and food freedom advocate. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze as well as a certified Self-Referencing IITM Practitioner.

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