Today on Days to remember we celebrate how on May 4th 1987, live models were used for the first time in Playtex Bra ads.
It’s hard to believe in this day in age that one time advertising industry was a little hesitant about using live models to sell undergarments.
Do you remember the first time you saw a live model wear a brassiere on a television commercial?
Until the mid-1980s, the National Association of Broadcasters Code Authority had to approve each and every television commercial before it hit the airwaves.
One of their more archaic rules (especially in an era when Lynda Carter was running around during prime time in a barely-there bustier) stated that any live models in bra commercials had to be fully clothed. If the offending undergarment was displayed on a mannequin, the dummy had to be either headless or armless or (best case scenario) both.
By 1987, NABCA had relaxed its regulations slightly and left the lingerie issue up to each network to decide whether it was corrupting America’s morals on a case-by-case basis.
Playtex hit the ground running on May 4 of that year by airing two different Cross Your Heart commercials (one called “Glitter” and one entitled “Weekend”) during daytime programming, the first time bras were seen touching the actual flesh of live humans on the boob tube.
Feminine hygiene product commercials got the go-ahead from NABCA in 1972, long before lacy unmentionables were allowed.
The first tampon brand to advertise on television was Rely, which started airing ads in two test cities (Rochester, NY, and Fort Wayne, IN) in July 1975.
When Proctor and Gamble wasn’t bombarded with protests for their audacity, Playtex quickly followed suit with competing commercials.
It seems like toenail fungus and erectile dysfunction commercials have been airing on TV since the Eisenhower Administration, but the FDA didn’t actually lift the ban on direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising until 1997.
When it comes to commercials on television I sort miss them because that’s my queue to find something in the refrigerator to eat, before my show starts again, which also leads up to bathroom breaks.
However on May 4th 1987, live models were used for the first time in Playtex Bra ads, which was literally a sneak preview of what real boobs look on the boob tube!
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell