By Sonia Fillipow

Introduction and Table of Contents

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Rena Bartos Papers 1962-1998, Box 13. Richard Pollay Collection Tobacco Industry Promotion Collection, Box 10. Angela M. Jeannet Papers, Box 2. J. Walter Thompson Competitive Advertisements, box 11. 

For women, the mid-twentieth century was a period of immense social and demographic change. The women’s liberation movement of the 60s and 70s called for the rejection of traditional gender roles and equality for the sexes. Meanwhile, women had joined the workforce in record numbers, dismantling the myth of the American housewife.

Advertising has always reacted to changes in society, so it follows that the transforming roles of American women would have implications for advertisers. This exhibit explores how the ad world reacted and evolved in response to demographic and social change, the strategies they used to target women, and the new misleading stereotypes they created in the process.

Table of Contents:

  1. From Housewife to Superwoman: The Evolution of Advertising to Women
  2. The Myth of the “New Woman”
  3. Marketing to Women:
    1. Rena Bartos and the New Demographics
    2. Agencies Recognize the Working Woman
    3. Advertisers Embrace the Career Woman
    4. Marketing to Feminists