8 ridiculous Barclaycard ads for women from the 60s and 70s you wouldn’t see today
"For ambitious, young men... and there's scope for girls as well."
"And she's got a good head for figures."
Financial advertising through the decades tells us a lot about how the way we see women, men, and their financial power has changed throughout history.
When credit cards were first introduced, ads like the one above were designed to convince men to buy their deserving wife a card – 'give her some credit' (though only 'some', mind you.) But as rules around women's ability to work changed, more and more banks began targeting women directly in their ads, recognizing the opportunity of a customer base that made up 50% of the population coming into a place of financial independence.
But it wasn't just the customers who were treated differently in advertising – it was future employees too. From the salary, to the lifestyle, to the extra perks, women and men were sold a pretty different life in recruitment ads for the financial sector.
Here's a few examples from Barclays, the UK's leading bank at the time...
Ambitious man in your thirties? We can promise you £1,675. 'Girl' in your 40s? £750 will do.
FOR AMBITIOUS YOUNG MEN
The bank wants young men of character and integrity, with a good standard of general education. Given these qualifications and an aptitude for the job, there is no reason why you should not find yourself a Branch Manager in your thirties, with a salary upwards of £1775, and the chance of doubling your pay by the time you are 50. Looking ahead, you could be one of those Managers whose salary exceeds £5,000 a year – a man with a big job, full of interest and responsibility. A goal worth striving for and those who reach ti will have a pension at 65 of £3,000 a year or more.
AND THERE'S SCOPE FOR GIRLS AS WELL
The women's salary scale runs from £300 on entry to a minimum of £750 at 41. A wide range of positions apart from the usual secretariat and book-keeping duties are now open to women in Barclays. For instance, girls can and do – become cashiers, supervisors, income tax specialists, and officers in the Executor and Travel Department. And Barclays has two women branch managers. If you are keen to get on, be prepared to study and not afraid of work, why not think about banking as your career? Incidentally, a girl who marries after fives years service in the bank qualifies for a gratuity. (1963)
I like... women staff managers.
I like my job – it's interesting
I like the variety of customers
I like the sports and social facilities
I like the people I work with
I like the salary. I like the salary rises
I like the thought of a marriage gratuity
In fact, I like every aspect of my work at BARCLAYS BANK
If you are 16 or over and have been educated to G.C.E. level, then write NOW for full details to The Women Staff Manager, Barclays Bank Limited. (1964)
You'll have sooo many friends at Barclays.
You'll like the life at Barclays – like the work and like the people and you'll make plenty of new friends at our lively sports and social clubs.
You'll earn good money (extra good if you have A levels) and your training course will be provided free with free fares and lunches while you are on it. There are plenty of chances for promotion and after 5 years you'll qualify for a marriage gratuity.
You will have the chance to work in London with all the advantages of being 'up in town', including a special London allowance – or if you prefer to you can work nearer home with only local fairs to pay and much less time wasted travelling.
There are Barclays branches everywhere. If you'd like to join the Barclaygirls or find some more about life in Barclays pop in to your local branch. Tell them you've seen this advertisement. Or fill in the coupon. (1967)
The power of credit
Already one man in 21 has a different kind of spending power. (1970)
Diamonds are a girl's best friend
Watches that hang, dangle, sit in your pocket, or ride on your wrist. Bright, sparkling rings. And necklaces. And earrings. And baubles, bangles, and beads. You can get them all with you Barclaycard. Now, over 1750 shops who sell jewellery happily accept it. Look in your Barclaycard directory to find the places nearest you.
Barclaycard: our 22 carat. (1969)
Responsible work that's interesting, too
And she has a good head for figures.
Take a look inside a Barclays branch. You'll be impressed to see some of the jobs girls do there. Responsible work that's interesting, too.
You can do the same.
If you're looking for a first job, or if you're fed up with the job you have now. Barclays is a great place to be.
Most of the staff are young, which makes for a lively atmosphere. Pay is good (it's equal with the men) and you'll get three weeks holiday every year...on top of that, you get your own cheque book and bank account, with interest on your money."
...why not join the girls at Barclays? (1972)
Ready, set, bank
A guide for beginners.
Thank you to Nicky Marsh at the University of Southampton, The Barclays Archive, and Show me the Money: The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present, for these images.