Shelley's Reviews > From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War

From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor by Jerry Della Femina
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's review
Apr 04, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: history
Read from March 25 to April 02, 2012

This was fascinating, but not really suited to sitting down to read it - it felt repetitive after awhile. Most of it felt pretty modern, but then every now and then something despicably 1970s sexist/racist/etc would pop up and it was pretty jarring. I'm surprised some of it didn't get edited out by the author or editor for the re-release a year or two ago.

Still, parts of it were very interesting. Like the TV censors and how they couldn't even show belly buttons - it was even harder to market feminine care products back then. (Not that we've made many strides there.) The one really interesting one was how they were told that they had to modify their toy gun commercial - because the kid played with it on a mound of dirt, they were concerned that some children would believe dirt came with the toy. So they had to write a disclaimed at the bottom of the screen that there was no dirt included. They were baffled as to why. Censors said they weren't worried about the five year olds or anything - it was the one and two year olds who might get concerned. So, as Jerry pointed out, they had to put the text disclaimer on screen for the toddlers who couldn't read, and no one cared that the commercial featured a kid with a very realistic-looking toy machine gun mowing down other kids. But the dirt? Dirt was a problem.

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