Marie Claire reimagines retro ads to ‘right past wrongs’

To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, Marie Claire magazine will be printing a range of reimagined advertisements from previous decades in its April issue, in an attempt to right past wrongs.

Marie Claire challenged agencies Ogilvy, Clemenger BBDO and 303 Mullen Lowe to revitalise old, sexist ads which bore slogans such as “This is no shape for a girl”, “For that ‘natural’ look men look for”, “You’ll be happier with a hoover” and “Keep her where she belongs”.

This reimagined ad from 303 Mullen Lowe references the accusations against Harvey Weinstein

The reworked ads challenge the stereotype that women need to make themselves look good for men, ideas of the ‘perfect body type’ and sexist imagery of women.

The pages of Marie Claire will include the updated ad, a copy of the original and a blurb from the responsible agency explaining how attitudes have changed and advertising needs to be responsible for reflecting that.

Some of the reworked ads make current cultural references including to artist Lizzo’s message of body positivity, and the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Marie Claire editor Nicky Briger said: “We’ve come a long way since the days when advertising positioned women as second-rate citizens. It’s actually shocking to see the past imagery, and reminds us how far we’ve come. This International Women’s Day, we’ve taken the opportunity to change the narrative and rewrite history in a tongue-in-cheek way.”

Marie Claire’s April issue is on sale now.


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