Monday, 31 March 2014

A lost world

A discussion about football over the weekend prompted me to get out the only World Cup programme that I possess - from Mexico 1970. And, once the argument was resolved, as is my wont with printed ephemera, I starting glancing through the ads.

You have to bear in mind that the ads would have been bought to a target audience of young men, possibly with young families as a secondary audience, in those strange days 44 years ago. So there's lots of stuff about cars and automobile-related brands: British Leyland, Fiat, Esso and Mobil. And the odd 1970 hi-tech ad (such as the one for a company called Vines of Trafalgar Square, who made film projectors, in 16mm and 8mm.)

Children were catered for, with ads for Raleigh, Action Man (in his World Cup Kit) and Chelsea ("The girl with the groovy gear" "the up-to-date dress-up-dolly") - funny, she never featured in my childhood!

But the overwhelming impression is of ads for tobacco. B&H takes the back cover, Player's No. 6 proudly presents its prices and Wills Golden Virginia takes us into a pub scene. It's straight out of The Sweeney, with its dartboard and expanses of polished wood.

Given that such scenes will not be appearing in the programme for this year, I realised what was missing. No food and drink, especially of the fast variety. No McDonald's. No Pizza Hut. OK, they had not been introduced to the UK at this point. But no Coke. Not even beer.

Maybe the anti-obesity crusaders have got a point.

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