Thank you, Mr. Draper: Ad from the ’70s reminds us how ugly things were

by Debbie Stoller

An old friend of mine just emailed me the ad above, for a bizarre product called “Mr. Leggs.” Unfortunately, the copy is too small to read here, but I did find it on another website. Apparently, it reads:

Though she was a tiger lady, our hero didn’t have to fire a shot to floor her. After one look at his Mr. Leggs slacks, she was ready to have him walk all over her. That noble styling sure soothes the savage heart! If you’d like your own doll-to-doll carpeting, hunt up a pair of these he-man Mr. Leggs slacks. Such as our new automatic wash wear blend of 65% “Dacron®” and 35% rayon–incomparably wrinkle-resistant. About $12.95 at plush-carpeted stores.

It’s actually quite amazing that this ad is from 1970. I mean, I was a person back then already– a child person, but a person nonetheless. I forget sometimes that I actually existed in a world where an image like the above was not just acceptable, but actually used to help sell a product. I mean, we’re not talking caddish Playboy cartoons here, but an image that a company was happy to use to represent itself.

Oh, but this copywriter had himself a hell of a time with this text, highball in one hand, cigarette burning away in the ashtray beside him, sitting at his desk at some ad agency. BTW, what is a tiger lady?

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.