A quick look at WWII advertisements
Above Left: This ad by the Kenyon & Eckhardt agency was among the very few that industry self-regulators found objectionable. The president of K&E defended the ad as an attempt to overcome womens resistance to war work by assuring them that it wouldnt ruin their appearance. Above Right: The World Telegram promotes Americas "not-so-secret weapon": propaganda!
Above Left: Texico and other corporations promoted work (not to mention hatred of "Japs") as a patriotic duty. Above Right: Despite paper shortages and the strict rationing of goods, advertising prospered during the war. The majority of ads made no mention of the war, and those that did often included merely a token reference to the war campaigns. This ad for Vimms Vitamins (1943) typifies how companies promoted their brands rather than war campaigns.
Above Leftt: The War Advertising Council orchestrated industry PR efforts. Much like the Ad Councils later campaigns for pollution, this ad portrays the enforcement of price curbs as a citizens duty rather than the responsibility of business. WAC founder James Webb Young was decidely upfront about the Councils mission. "There is a popular misconception among people that we are proposing a great humanitarian project," he said in a 1945 speech to fellow ad men. "On the contrary, we have discovered and demonstrated a technique of advertising which increases the effectiveness and power of advertising." Above Right: In this trade ad, Westinghouses agency shows the radio industry how it promotes radios war on the "3rd front, where mens mindsnot bodiesare target and battlefield." The original ad, with its candid advocacy of propaganda, ran in Time (1944).