The Who “Sell Out” Album Advertisements

The Who released their third album “The Who Sell Out” in 1967.  It is a concept album, formatted as a collection of unrelated songs interspersed with faux commercials and public service announcements.  Along with faux commercials the album cover features faux advertisements with all four band members selling out and pushing some products.

The Who Sell Out Album Cover Advertisements

On the front is Pete Townshend applying Odorono brand deodorant from an oversized stick.  Odorono was an actual liquid underarm deodorant used by women during the second world war and The Who got in a bit of hot water when their manager asked Odorono for money for product placement.

Pete Townshend The Who Sell Out Advertisement Odorono

Roger Daltrey is also on the front cover and he is sitting in a bathtub full of Heinz baked beans and holding an oversized tin can.  Daltrey claims to have caught pneumonia after sitting for a long time in the bathtub, as the beans had been frozen.  Heinz was very annoyed at the cover until someone pointed out how much free advertising they were getting.

Roger Daltrey The Who Sell Out Advertisement Heinz Baked Beans

On the back cover Keith Moon is applying Medac acne cream from an oversized tube.

Keith Moon The Who Sells Out Medac Advertisement

On the Australian issue of the album, Moon is holding a tube of Clearasil instead.  It is obvious that Clearasil was airbrushed over Medac from the original photo or vice versa.  No official explanation has ever been given but it seems that since the other products being pushed on the album were real life products (Ordorono, Heinz & Charles Atlas) and Medac was not, Clearasil must have objected to being used on the album cover and Australia used the Clearasil photo in error.  Check it out…

Keith Moon Clearasil Advertisement The Who Sell Out Australia

John Entwistle joins Moon on the back cover in a leopard-skin Tarzan suit with a blonde woman in a leopard-skin bikini in one arm and a teddy bear with the other. An ad for the “Charles Atlas Workout” is mentioned in one of the album’s faux commercials.

The Who Sell Out John Entwistle Advertisement

On the Canadian issue the Isometrics Workout is mentioned rather than Charles Atlas Workout.  Once again no explanation is given but it probably had to be changed for legal reasons.

The Who Sell Out Canada Issue Isometrics John Entwistle

The Who had plenty of legal drama with the release of this album but it’s a classic and was ranked 113 in Rolling Stone magazines top 500 albums of all-time.

The Who “The Kids Are Alright” Photo Location

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