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"Is Your Washroom Breeding Bolsheviks?" A Look Back at Oddly Charming Cold War Ads

While we're celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Union generally, let's take a look at some old advertising from the Cold War, courtsey of the Amazing Facts blog, which dug up 15 of the funnier ones.

The ad below, "The Quiet War," was produced by Y&R. It urges American students to study longer and harder than their communist counterparts. If they don't, "Who is more likely to succeed!" the ad asks. (Based only on the punctuation, it would appear the Russians won that academic exercize.)

My favorite is the ScotTissue Towels ad at right (Scott later became Kimberly-Clark (KMB)). "Is your washroom breeding Bolsheviks?" It demands. "Employees lose respect for a company that fails to provide decent facilities for their comfort." Yes, during the Mad Men era corporate America believed there might be Reds in the toilet.

The Beatles-and-communism ad is from SocyBerty. It's a Christian pamphlet. Which makes me think that all those Obama-is-a-Nazi leaflets we're seeing today might be laugh-out-loud collectibles in 50 years' time.

And finally: Note that many of these ads -- they're all American -- borrow the style of socialist realism, which was invented you-know-where.

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