Smoke advert to make modern women fume

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DISAPPROVAL is not the only response a husband can give to a wife who smokes too much, or indeed who smokes at all, an exhibition opening in London this morning makes clear.

Direct action is possible. At least, it was in the early years of the century when Dr Filber Batt's patent Smoking Preventative for Women could be purchased for only dollars 1.20.

Affixed to the mouth region, it was - in tests - 100 per cent effective in blocking all smoking material from entering. Not only that. It was also recommended for the woman who was considered to talk to excess. It prevented all spoken material from exiting.

'Buy my Invention today and Be Happy Forever,' said the doctor, in an advertisement that goes on display today at this year's Festival of Creative Excellence, an advertising industry exhibition at the Business Design Centre, Islington, north London.

Dr Batt's advert is just one of a number likely to make most moderately feminist women fume - or perhaps just laugh.

They include:

'The wife most likely to be kissed puts beer on her shopping list' - Fifties United States beer advertisement.

'The Chef does everything but cook - that's what wives are for' - British food-mixer advert from the Sixties.

'You mean a woman can open it?' - US Forties advert for a safe-sealing bottle cap.

Anthony Simonds-Gooding, chairman of the Design and Art Directors' Association, said the exhibition showed women's changing role as consumers, and the way advertisers had responded.

'In the old days, women were portrayed as brainless but very useful; they cooked and they washed,' he said.

'Now women are used (in advertisements) to appeal both to women and to men. They have changed from a passive role to protagonists.'

(Photograph omitted)