It's never been easier to complain if you happen to be outraged and offended by something. Start an online petition or have a tweet go viral and watch the company in question drop everything as it tries to rectify whatever upset you. A prime example is the recent successful campaign that managed to get Native American feather headdresses banned from being sold at various music festivals on the back of a mere 65 signatures in an online petition. Never mind the fact that no Native American voiced concerns about the tribal headdress being sold at Glastonbury, it didn't stop the event organisers from bowing to pressure and swiftly banning the accessory. Frivolous campaigns like the one mentioned above might begin with good intentions, but they add to the general fatigue being felt when it comes to people taking offence. It seems as if people are not happy unless they are offended by something. If they don't like it, then that naturally means no one else must like it and it must be banned, instantly! But the problem with internet outrage is that when there are genuine issues around inequality, sexism, homophobia and racism, they run the risk of being lost in the quagmire of people complaining about the use of the term ''blackboard'' because it's racist. You know outrage fatigue has settled in when people like Stephen Fry are commenting on it:
It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so f**king what."However, never underestimate the power of internet outrage and advertisers are more aware of this than anybody. One perceived step in the wrong direction and their advertising campaign will become the latest thing to feel the wrath of the moral outrage brigade. But compared to adverts even from only 20 years ago, we have come a long way. If any company tried to sell their product now in the way these companies did in the 15 adverts you are about to see, they would be protested to oblivion by people voicing their opinion on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks to a shift in attitudes, no advertising agency would dare to be so openly sexist as these companies once were. So the next time you see someone complaining about the use of breasts in an advert to sell bras, remember how far we have come because that is not women being objectified, it was adverts like these from the ''good ol days'' that objectified women. So click next to have 15 reminders that society now is nowhere near as terrible as the moral crusaders would like to guilt you into believing it is.