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These Shameless Cocaine Ads From The 1970s Prove The Past is a Different Universe

Ian Smith

The 1970s were a crazy time, not just because of the obscure fashion, but the freedom of speech was much different than nowadays. Ads promoting all manner of drug paraphernalia have been around for decades, roach clips, hashish bongs, smoking pipes and designer cosmetic cases to hold your favourite narcotics. But in the late ’70s to early 80’s one drug ruled them all – cocaine.

(In case you’re wondering, drug paraphernalia ads are generally legal in the U.S., though some states such as Ohio and Nebraska do have specific ads outlawing them.)

These cocaine ads were dug up by David Wilfert in Los Angeles, who runs a creative agency called The World’s Best Ever, focusing on cannabis and drug stuff in the entertainment industry.

Here’s a collection of ads that ran from 1976 to around 1981 – it really was a different world and time back then. Could you see these on a billboard in your city these days?





























Ian Smith

Ian Smith is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News