During the 2013 Super Bowl, there were thousands of tweets with the hashtag “#NotBuyingIt.” The online conversation brought attention to sexist television commercials that were broadcast while the game was in progress. One Twitter user said, “What have I learned from #SuperBowl ads? Women = robots, objects, strippers & showgirls. Violent men are brave.”
Given that almost 50 percent of the Super Bowl audience is made up of women, and that females control up to 85 percent of consumer spending as a whole in the US, these ads run the risk of alienating a huge amount of people rather than encouraging them to buy their products. Yet sexist advertising is nothing new. Take a look at these 15 ads from the past, while we explore the controversial issues that surround them.