In school we were required to take a couple advertising classes that were heavy in the history department. History has never been my thing, but at least with advertising history there are old ads to look at. I won't bore you with the really old stuff, but there are some interesting examples from mid last century. I came across an article from BoingBoing about how there is an entire period of time where women were depicted quite poorly in advertisements.
By today's standards these are pretty bad. You just don't do this anymore. I might, however, argue that the woman in the lower left ad is rather enjoying herself. It is interesting to think about how this was socially acceptable at one point. This mentality is depicted very well in the AMC series Mad Men. I was never an avid watcher (debating picking it up now that Lost is over), but the premise of the show was clear: depict life at an ad agency in the 60's. Agencies were male dominated and an intimidating place for women to work. It isn't surprising the work they put out reflected a similar nature.
In Amanda's post she talked about a controversial ad of today in which an ad was overtly sexualized. We see that a lot in today's ads (as such, you'll probably see a lot of it here). This makes me wonder if we will reach a point where it will be socially unacceptable to use overtly sexualized imagery in ads. We stopped objectifying women in ads (okay, I admit, it may just have transformed into the overt sexualization), so I wonder what the next transformation will be. Either way, these classic ads are something else.