Stay Free! magazine


Illness Through Advertising

"If a conscious consumer were to set about repairing all such disorders by applications of the specified products, he would not only have time for nothing else, but would probably require two assistants--one to buy the remedies and one to help him take them."
--Printers' Ink, August 13, 1936

Advertising created so many fake diseases in the 1930s that the trade magazine Printers' Ink began a "disease watch"--publishing lists of the latest coinages as they appeared in ads. By 1936, the list had nearly reached 200 and was still climbing. Here are a few examples, taken from the magazine.


Pronation / Muscle Builder Shoes
Bone Hunger / Scott's Emulsion
Bustringitis / Tomgut Tennis Strings
Choker's Cramp / Super-Shell Gasoline
Coffeeitis / Black Gold Coffee
Corditis / Belden Electrical Cord
Dermerosion / ompeiian Cosmetics
High-Tension Skin / Novena Night Cream
Housework Fag / Edison Electrical Appliances
Smoker's Fag / Phillips' Milk of Magnesia
Foot Fag / Vitality Health
Office Fatigue / Bowman's Milk
Facial Fatigue / Pompeiian Night Cream
Shift-Key Fatigue Royal Typewriters
Auto Fatigue / Dodge Cars
P.M. Fatigue / India Tea
Morning Acidity / Libby's Pineapple
Morning After / New York State Milk, King of Kentucky Whiskey, Bromo-Seltzer
Tobacco Breath / Kentucky Winners Cigarettes
Cigarette Cough / Kentucky Winners Cigarettes
Cigarette Breath / Spuds Cigarettes
Cigarette Hangover / Kentucky Winners Cigarettes
Smoker's Throat / Viceroy Cigarettes
Smoker's / Cough Spuds Cigarettes
Whiskitosis / Nu-Breath
Collapsed Capilaries / Ipana Toothpaste
Perspiration / Aura Mum
Near-Sighted / Ears Acousticons


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