Even after the Federal Trade Commission issued statutes about “truth in advertising,” advertising men sought ways to formulate new, harsher truths about real, but decidedly exaggerated maladies. “There’s a womanly offense – greater than body odor or bad breath!” whispered the subhead in an ad for the feminine hygiene product called Zonite.
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Under the headline “How can he explain to his sensitive young wife?” a photo of somewhat disgusted young man with a comic thought balloon over his head, read “There are some things a husband just can’t mention to his wife!” Meanwhile Zonite was being promoted as the “modern miracle” because no other “douche is so powerful yet safe to tissues.”
Zonite douche was a competitor to Lysol, which marketed its product towards a similar usage. There was an unspoken subtext that it could also be used as a contraceptive, although it didn’t really work. This ad is from 1950.