Sex sells. That's what we're always told. But judging by this collection of adverts, dark humour sells too. So does sexism. And violence.
We've collected 100 of the most controversial advertising campaigns over the last century. Some are very much of their time (see Van Heusen), others just backwards-thinking.
All of them, however, are creative, with a lot of artistic thinking being put into the eye-catching aesthetics necessary to sell, sell, sell. Or offend, offend, offend.
- Harvey Nichols Advert Features Models Wetting Themselves In Excitement Over Sale (PICTURES)
- Adidas JS Roundhouse Mids 'Slave' Shackle Trainers Cause Race Row (PICTURE)
- American Apparel 'Exploitative' Adverts Revealing Breasts And Buttocks Banned - But Beckham In His Pants Is Fine
- Vagina 'Brightener': Indian Feminine Hygiene Product Promises To Make Genitals 'Many Shades Fairer'
Some of the 100 go out to strike a chord with good intentions, even if it doesn't make pretty viewing: Amnesty International and Benetton are famous for their thought-provoking images about global taboos. Government and charity messages speaking out on domestic violence, child abuse and healthcare make for difficult viewing, but stimulate important conversations.
Some of the 100 will raise a smile, others will make you wonder just how a brand ever managed to put this out there (we're looking at you, BMW), but all of them are the product of creative talent.
If nothing else, these campaigns prove that images really can speak louder than words...