Thursday’s ad is from the 1930s and is part of a series of pin-ups done for San Francisco’s Acme Brewing by one of the most famous pin-up artists ever. George Petty is probably one of a handful of well-known pin-up artists who also made the transition to commercial and mainstream work. Some of his most famous work was done for Esquire magazine, where he worked from 1933 to 1956. The women he painted had a look that was dubbed “the Petty Girl.” You can see more examples at the Pin-Up Page, BPIB and the Pin-Up Files.
Today’s Petty ad was part of the Dietetically Non-Fattening series, which Brewery Gems describes.
In the mid ’30s Acme came up with a brilliant marketing concept directed at an untapped market – women. It advertised its beer as “Dietetically Non-Fattening,” and following the asterisks, the fine print says: “Relatively so, compared with other foods.”
This caused the Federal Trade Commission, who was devoted to fair practices in advertising, to move against Acme Breweries. However, it took until 1951 for the Commission’s decision that the words “Acme beer contains no fattening substances and will not increase consumer’s weight” was still considered a “deceptive nutritional claim,” so Acme dropped the advertising campaign, but by then they had doubled their capacity and captured nearly 50% of the California beer market.
Petty apparently painted three works for Acme Beer, the other two are below.
Petty’s Reclining Lady.