DIARY: HAT proves some old ads are best forgotten

With the IPA in the middle of a programme to encourage more people from ethnic minorities to apply for jobs in advertising, historians have just let some embarrassing skeletons out of the industry's cupboard.

This month, the History of Advertising Trust has released the results of a two-year study into the way ethnic minorities have been portrayed since the late 1800s.

Grossly offensive doesn't begin to describe some of the material: an 1884 ad for Pears' soap in which a white child tries to scrub a black child "clean"; a pair of posters for Lux showing afro-haired black children backing the product's claim that it "won't shrink wool".

Now the trust plans to look at how adland has treated women for decades.

Prepare for the un-PC needle to shoot off the dial.