Monday, July 09, 2007

Aren't You Ashamed... of Your Bad Breath?

"Though selling urgent solutions to imaginary needs is as old as snake oil, it reached a high pitch of hysteria in the late ’40s and ’50s," says the introduction to an article by Steven Heller in the current issue of PRINT magazine.
This week, let's take a look at some of the ads that "equated benign conditions like B.O. and halitosis with moral and social crime."

The editors of PRINT contacted me about providing some imagery for Heller's article, so I especially wanted to make sure to bring this issue to your attention. Be sure to look for it on the magazine stands or find out how to subscribe at this link.

And if you'd like to see today's images at full size, go to my new You Stink! Flickr set.


  1. The great Walt Kelly, creator of Pogo, said that when it comes to separating friend from foe, halitosis and B.O. are your best allies. A person would have to be a true friend to get past defenses like those.

  2. Jeff Norwell11:15 AM

    I think one of the fellas laffing in the BG looks alot like Ronald Reagan....

    Wonderful art

  3. These are great, & they remind us of the golden age of advertising, when serious social ills were dealt with openly & honestly. I love the guys chuckling in the background.

  4. the book, Freakanomics had a section that discussed how Listerine was once an industrial floor cleaner and how they re-marketed it as mouthwash for the then unknown contition of halitosis.

  5. gretchen3:10 PM

    Funny to see how beautiful and fresh looking the pictures are and yet talk about such things ^^

    No Article today I hope you're fine .
    See, I don't always know what to write as a comment but I care about you : )

    You're important . Really hope everything is fine, that you're just busy .

    Keep it up.