In 1996, an election year, Advertising
Women of New York (AWNY) board member Margie Goldsmith
noticed an ad for Wonderbra which appeared in a woman's magazine.
The ad was a photo of three sexy women "candidates",
each one wearing only a lacy pushup Wonderbra. The copy headline
read "SURE BEATS VOTING FOR PRESIDENT". In small
print, the ad encouraged readers to go into any department
store and vote for one of the three featured models in the
photo. Goldsmith, who at the time was the Board advisor of
AWNY's Public Relations Committee, walked into the meeting
holding up the Wonderbra ad. "Look at this," she
said, "It took us as women almost a century to get the
vote and now they ask us to vote for a pair of boobs? We ought
to have an awards ceremony for ads which denigrate women."
The Public Relations committee took up the challenge - to
create an awards ceremony that would celebrate advertising
that depicted women positively, and embarrass those advertisers
whose ads denigrated women. The only judging criterion was,
"Would you show the ad to your daughter or son?"
The awards ceremony was called "The Good, the Bad, and
the Ugly" Awards, and was held in September 1997. Surprisingly,
the Wonderbra ad did not receive an "Ugly", as there
were so many more ads that were even more degrading to women.
The overwhelming success and positive press encouraged AWNY's PR Committee
to make the event an annual awards ceremony.
The Advertising Educational Foundation
is grateful to AWNY for making the Good, Bad & Ugly commercials
available on aef.com.