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5 Troubling Vintage Adverts Featuring Children

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7Up child advert

“This young man is 11 months old – and he isn’t our youngest customer by any means. For 7-Up is so pure, so wholesome, you can even give to babies and feel good about it….”

Interestingly, when 7-Up started out, it was advertised to contain lithium.  In fact, its original brand name was “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda” (the “bib label” bit refers to the type of paper label on the bottles).  Back then, lithium was praised for its calming effects: “Takes the ouch out of grouch” was an ad slogan.  Unsubstantiated fact: the very name of the beverage is derived from the atomic weight of lithium (6.91 rounded up to 7).

sunshine advert

“Every Sunshine Lamp gives all the health rays of sunshine – the important, luminous, stimulating Ultra Violet and penetrating Infra-Red rays…Tans them as brown as a vacation at the beach.”

As if the second hand smoke in those days wasn’t bad enough, they had to bombard the kids with UV and Infra-red radiation! A perfect compliment to Junior’s lead painted room with asbestos insulation and lithium infused 7-Up.



Do it, mom.  Smoke those Marlboro cigarettes. Ivory tips or plain ends, it doesn’t matter – your babies just want you smoking.  After all, you can’t afford not to.



Dear God.




It’s sort of a cross between a crib and a coffin. Check out the way mom closes the lid and covers the screen – completely enveloping her child in a claustrophobic shroud of darkness. Not unlike putting your child in a shipping crate….. just add packing peanuts!