The Squander Bug was propaganda character created during the Second War War by artist Phillip Boydell, an employee of the British National Savings Committee. The unpleasant-looking character was used for press adverts, as well as widely used by other wartime artists in poster campaigns and political cartoons.
At the time, the British National Savings Committee had become concerned that inflated prices were being paid for consumer goods that were in short supply and believed that the money would be better spent on savings certificates to help with the war effort.
The Committee felt they needed a way to ridicule indulgent spending, without being boring or high-handed. The campaign was extremely popular and the character was adapted for use in other countries. In fact in the United States children’s author Dr Seuss created his own version of the Squander Bug for use in their own war savings campaigns.
The following advert appeared in the local Bromley newspaper to help encourage readers to save.
No Use Muttering at me – I’m not listening
Wily little beast! He knows you’ve made up your mind to save, so he’s trying to cut your savings down. He hates to see those extra shillings go towards the war effort…
“Surplus for Sabotage” is his motto!
Lick the Squander Bug by licking on a Savings Stamp : every stamp in your book is helping to win the war.