You know, it wasn’t too terribly long ago that American advertisers could not show a real live model wearing a bra that didn’t also involve the wearing of a leotard underneath it, to save our obviously terribly shockable selves, as we’d apparently all end up as slavering sex fiends just by the mere sight of an over-shoulder-boulder-holder on actual skin.

Yes, bras on naked skin didn’t hit our televisions until 1987 and that was only in three 10-second spots and believe me it created a bit of a furor among the Gladys Kravitzes of this country. 

Man, look at us now. 

I’d be ever so delighted to see a bra ad these days. Now you’re hit over the head with home delivered catheters, jumbo industrial strength Depends and every day, all day Viagra. 

Let me tell you, if you need Viagra to be ready whenever that certain she is ready, you don’t need that pill dear boys, you need a wheelbarrow full of Vitamin B to keep up your stamina. 

It used to be that you’d go to the doctor, have your complaint competently diagnosed, and have a suitable drug prescribed for you. 

Now apparently you need to be forearmed so that you can have the temerity to go tell your doctor that with your new complaint you would quite like to try Freebie Flyfree or Fred’s Elixir for the Treatment of Flatulence.  Never mind the fact that – and you have to say this as quickly as you possibly can so that it can fit in a 30-second commercial – this drug may cause: warts, nose drips, leprosy, smelly armpits, loose teeth, triple vision, jaw droop and uncontrollable giggling – damn it, it’s been advertised on TV doc, and I want to try it. 

I know when I left Australia in 1999, lawyers and doctors were not allowed to advertise anywhere. Here you are exhorted to make an obligation-free call to Legal Eagle Beagle and Briefcase to find out how much money you can get because you walked past a building in 1963 which may or may not have at one point contained asbestos. 

I know the saying goes “truth in advertising,” but can we tone it down a bit, chaps?  

Give me comedy in advertising any day.


Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at