The Who2 Blog

Fighting Nazis and Body Odor

I was leafing through an old copy of the Toronto Star, from 1945, when I stumbled upon a delightful wartime advertisment for Lifebouy soap.

Soldier boy is home on leave, and he’s excited to find that his mom has bought a ton of groceries (one bag). But wait! Where’s the Lifebouy soap? His sister explains that they haven’t been buying it lately. What a silly goose. He straightens her out:

Everything on that checklist scares the B.O. right out of me! In thinking about what could happen to Mom and Dad, my imagination ran wild, into the darkness. And think of poor Steve, having to endure Sis’s woman-stink while tyranny triumphs in Europe!

Fortunately, I look a lot like this when I take a bubble bath, and that eases the suffering:

I don't wear earrings in the tub like thisI don’t wear earrings in the tub like this

Having saved his family from the horrors of B.O., our soldier returns to base, where he frolics toward Freedom with his best bud, Private Matter:

There’s a certain irony in finding this Lifebouy ad in the paper. At the time I was reading a newspaper story about Joseph Goebbels, and what a terrible guy he was because he used half-truths and manipulated words in order to persuade gobs of people to do this or that thing. I wondered if he ghost-wrote the copy for the Lifebouy ad.

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