If the Sixties were the Golden Age of Advertising, when advertising as we know it today was created, as it was the moment when colors, technology, witty and intelligent slogans, amazing artwork and televised ads were born, the seventies proved to be rather unkind with the business. Those who worked in advertising had to find a clever way of promoting their products, as people were at best unresponsive. Fashion ads faced the same difficulty, and the task at hand was dauting: how to advertise fashion to a crowd that doesn’t believe in ads? The relationship between consumers and the ad world became more and more tense, as public opinion became negative toward consumer marketing and a widespread crackdown against false or misleading ads ensued. This meant that fashion ads had to lose some of their glamour.
Public surveys conducted by Gallup and other agencies show that between 1970 and 1979 the distrust and disapproval towards commercial advertising spiked. We might never fully grasp what caused this sudden rejection oriented at the ad industry, however the consuequences for advertising tycoons from Madison Avenue were dire.
Changes in legislation pushed advertisers even more in to a corner. If before the FTC had to prove that an ad was making false claims in order to take legal action, in the 70s this was replaced by having to prove that the ad didn’t prove its claim was substantiated. The legal focul shifted towards the advertisers themselves. So how did the industry survive? Fashion ads have always been challenged as they tend to create false expectations and portray only some types of beauty or standards. Fashion ads have been accused of setting an impossible standard for feminine beauty and of making women everywhere feel uneasy with their body.
In the 70s, fashion ads lost some of their glamour, and compared to nowadays fashion ads, they might even come across as bland and not so artsy. Since the 70s are known as the unkind era for advertising, it’s interesting to see how fashion ads navigated through the decade. What’s more, vintage ads have a certain appeal that modern day ads lack. Perhaps due to the fact that it’s intriguing to see how fashion ads have evolved. With no further ado, I invite you all to scroll through 30 fashion ads from the 70s and enjoy a journey into the unkind era of advertising.
Which of these fashion ads is your favorite?
Photos from : vintageadbrowser.com
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