(Pocket-lint) - Marketing departments and companies have come up with some surprisingly shocking adverts over the decades. 

Using fancy words and "science" to pitch products to the unsuspecting public in the name of capitalism. There have been all manner of dodgy, racist, sexist and downright dangerous adverts over the last century. 

We've collected some of the best for your amusement. 

Stanford University

Scientific evidence can't be wrong

Before medical research into the effects of smoking had properly gained ground and proved the links between smoking and cancer, adverts like this were rife. 

In the 1950s and 60s, magazines boasted ads that purported the positive (or at least not negative) effects of smoking. The Chesterfield advert reads:

"A medical specialist is making regular bi-monthly examinations of a group of people from various walks of life. 45 percent of this group have smoked Chesterfield for an average of over two years. After ten months, the medial specialist reports that he observed no adverse effects on the nose, throat and sinuses of the group from smoking Chesterfield."

Do more Doctors smoke now than all those years ago?

Nestlé/Novartis

Vitamin doughnuts and drinks

If you can't quite believe the hard sell that cigarettes are good for you, how about this marketing which suggests that both doughnuts and Ovaltine have healthy vitamins in them. 

And that they're great for pep and vigor?!

These adverts date back to the 1940s and speak to a simpler time before obesity became a serious problem. We wonder what happened. 

Camel

Give your throat a holiday

This advert tried to suggest that all other cigarettes used "dry-as-dust tobaccos" while Camels were "mild", "clean" and "cool". 

Perhaps the most sinister thing about this advert is the last line though:

"Join in, give your throat a holiday. Try Camels for just one day, then leave them - if you can."

National Lead Company

Dutch Boy lead paint

Before it was known what harm lead could do to the human body, it was marketed for all sorts of things including as a good idea for children's paint and toys. 

Later, lead poisoning from these sorts of things was found to lead to all manner of problems including brain damage, seizures and more. 

Oddly, even the Romans were aware potential health problems lead could cause, but modern marketing skated over it. 

VW

Women hit things

At first glance, this advert looks fairly inoffensive compared to the others on the list. It's not selling cancer-inducing cigarettes, just a car. A car that a woman has apparently smashed up. 

That's right, in the good old days, Volkswagen was a lot more sexist. 

"Women are soft and gentle" the advert reads, "...but they hit thing...If your wife hits something in a Volkswagen, it doesn't hurt you very much."

No need to worry, this marketing suggests, as a VW is cheap to repair so if your clumsy wife crashes into things it'll be a breeze to repair. 

Kelloggs

Pep in the kitchen

How does a busy housewife manage to keep so perky and cute? Vitamins it seems. At least that's what Kelloggs would have people believe anyway. 

The company implied that women of the day thrived on cooking, cleaning, dusting and a daily dose of Kellogg's Vitamins. A healthy dash of sexism probably kept things interesting too. 

Keurig Dr Pepper/PepsiCo

7up is good for your baby

This weird advert from years gone by seems to imply that 7up is a perfectly fine soft drink to give to your kids, even young babies. 

The ad even suggests mixing up some 7uo with some milk in order to create a "wholesome combination" - Yikes. 

One thing 7up did have going for it was the list of all the ingredients on the label, something that wouldn't become the norm for years to come. But still. 

Du Pont

Plastics for children

In modern society, you'll find warnings on plastic carrier bags highlighting the suffocation dangers to children. 

This advert from Du Pont Cellophane might well be the origins of this. Don't wrap your children in Cellophane. It might keep things fresh, but it's certainly not good for your nippers. 

Sugar Information

Sugar will curb your appetite

Most modern thinking is that refined sugar is bad and adds unnecessary calories and maybe unhealthy in other ways too

But in the the "good" old days, adverts like this appeared to imply that sugary drinks and snacks were a good way to lose weight. A snack before lunch would stop you eating too much and help you curb your appetite. 

More than likely just a way to sell more sugar. Or perhaps a ploy by dentists to get more customers?

MacAndrews & Forbes Company

Smoking - fun for all the family

There's no denying that this Dad has some skills blowing some awesome smoke rings, but he's probably not the best Dad. Smoking indoors with kids around is not a great look in today's society.

But back in 1952, it wasn't frowned upon. Companies were also making cigarettes appealing to a younger audience too, with flavourings including liquorice. Starting them early for long-term customer loyalty. 

Chase & Sandborn

Domestic violence?

Imagine deciding to market your coffee with a threat of domestic violence if the reader dared to buy other beverages. 

If he gets stale coffee, he may well hit you. Is that an incentive to buy Chase & Sanborn over other brands?

Hoover

She'll be happier with a Hoover

It seems that if you're not beating your wife for serving you stale coffee, it's perfectly acceptable to buy her a Hoover vacuum cleaner for Christmas. 

We're not sure what she'll be happier with, to be honest. What we do know is this is a fairly terrible advert, but at least Hoovers aren't bad for you. 

Ranker

Tape worms for your diet

If you think some of these other adverts have been a bit crazy then what about this one? We've heard of some pretty crazy fad diets in our time, but it's hard to imagine a world where purposely ingesting tapeworms seems like a good idea. 

Artes Radium Cream Ltd

Radioactive face cream

From tapeworms for your diet to a radioactive beauty cream that promises to rejuvenate your skin. The good old days sure had it all. At the time, X-Rays and early successes of radium meant that the public was easy to convince about the potential health benefits, but this was clearly a dangerous practice. 

Penn Salt Chemicals

DDT is good for you?

This advert from 1947 shows the benefits of DDT or at least the benefits of the chemical as it was seen by "exhaustive" scientific tests at the time.  The ad claimed that DDT was good for fruits, steers, dairies, crops and even the home. 

Of course, Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, has since been shown to have serious negative impacts on the environment and people too. It was shown to be toxic to many types of fish, thinned birds eggs and was even linked to a higher risk of breast cancer too. As a result it was banned in most developed countries in the 1970s and 1980s. 

Livejournal

No means no

Woah. This one. We're pretty sure that no means no. Sure, maybe Jade East's aftershave is so good that you'll have women falling off you, but if not, you can't just bash one over the head and take her back to your cave. This advert is certainly from a different time. 

Viceroys

Nevermind your doctor

Nevermind your doctor, it's your dentist you should be worried about. But not if you smoke Viceroys apparently. As your dentist would recommend them. Though frankly if that's true, you should  probably consider switching dentists. 

Stanford University

Everyone knows that heat purifies

Lucky Strike cigarettes claimed to be "the finest cigarette you ever smoke" promising to protect you against coughs and protect you against irritation too. Bold claims in the advert stat that the company's secret process purifies the tobacco and makes it less irritating. Don't over indulge though. All things in moderation. 

Sears Roebuck and Co.

Laudanum for the little one

Babies can sure be little blighters. Not sleeping when they should, keeping you awake at night. But perhaps the solution is Laudanum. Sure it's a class A drug and you're essentially giving your small child a mix of opium, morphine and codeine but at least you'll have a nice nap. 

It's also good for pain relief, yellow fever, cardiac disease, dysentery and "Excessive Secretions". YIKES. Addiction is going to be your biggest problem though. 

Jigger

Whiskey toothpaste

Mint flavoured toothpaste is so dull and cliche. Why not make things more interesting before bedtime with whiskey flavoured toothpaste? Or even kick-start your day. Just don't brush and drive. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.