MEET THE SQUANDER BUG
This unpleasant-looking character is called the Squander Bug, and it was created during the Second World War by artist Phillip Boydell, an employee of the National Savings Committee. The Committee raised funds by urging the public to save their own money and invest it in the war effort.
The cartoon bug appeared in press adverts and poster campaigns as a menace who encouraged shoppers to waste money rather than buy war savings certificates.
The campaign was extremely popular and the cartoon was adapted for use in other countries, including Australia and New Zealand. The American children’s author Dr Seuss created his own version of the Squander Bug for use in war savings campaigns in the United States.
Here are six different faces of the Squander Bug.POSTERS
THE SQUANDERBUG ALIAS HITLER’S PAL
‘Wanted for sabotage – the Squanderbug alias Hitler’s Pal’.See object record
© IWM (Art.IWM PST 3406)POSTERS
DON’T BE A SQUANDER BUG!
‘Don’t be a Squander Bug – keep up your war savings’.See object record
© IWM (Art.IWM PST 16538)POSTERS
DON’T LISTEN TO THE SQUANDER BUG
‘Don’t listen to the Squander Bug – buy war savings’.See object record
© IWM (Art.IWM PST 15453)SOUVENIRS AND EPHEMERA
An air rifle target of a Squander Bug, made to look like Hitler.See object record
© IWM (EPH 4611)POSTERS
SQUASH THE SQUANDER BUG
‘Squash the Squander Bug – put your money into war savings’.See object record
© IWM (Art.IWM PST 16851)POSTERS
KILL THAT PEST
‘After ‘im – kill that pest with war savings’.See object record
Battle of Britain, 1941, by Paul Nash.SECOND WORLD WAR
The Ministry of Information established the War Artists Advisory Committee (WAAC) in 1939, prompted by Sir Kenneth Clark, then Director of the National Gallery. The WAAC met at the National Gallery once a month. Officially at least, the purpose of the Committee was propaganda. Art exhibitions were organised in Britain and America both to raise morale and promote Britain’s image abroad.
‘No’ poster by David Gentleman, first commissioned by the Stop the War Coalition in 2003. © IWM (Art.IWM PST 8845).PEOPLE POWER: FIGHTING FOR PEACE
SECOND WORLD WAR
In January 1940, the British government introduced food rationing. The scheme was designed to ensure fair shares for all at a time of national shortage.Share thisShare on twitterShare on facebookImperial War Museums home
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