Sexist advertising that objectifies women reached its heyday in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
But, in that era, it was very seldom that any company actually faced backlash or consequences for its ad practices.
That began to change, however, when National Airlines deployed a racy new ad campaign in which alluring young stewardesses invited travelers to "Fly Me" on their next business trip.
National Airlines may have sold more tickets as a result of the ads.
But, for a workforce of stewardesses who were fed up with sexist standards and unfair working conditions, the campaign proved to be a tipping point that sent them into the streets to protest, organize, and agitate for the respect they deserved—both in the workplace and in the media.
In this episode, Nell McShane Wulfhart—author of The Great Stewardess Rebellion—charts a course through the aviation, advertising and labor history of this story.
Plus, we're joined by Philippa Roberts and Jane Cunningham to explore the sexist tropes at play in 1970s advertising, and how sexism is just as pernicious in today's media, even if it's less blatant. Philippa and Jane are co-authors of Brandsplaining: Why Marketing is Still Sexist and How to Fix It, and are also co-founders of the agency PLH, the UK’s leading research consultancy specializing in female audiences.
While you're here:
Leave us a message on the Lead Balloon Comms Gripe Line
Sign up for the Podcamp Media e-newsletter
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices