Sunday, 21 August 2011


Other ways kids got stuff for free, or on the cheap, were as shown in the examples above where you could - join a club, try competitions or collect wrappers.
The top Arrow Bar ad is dated 1968 and offers kids the chance to join the Arrow Bargain Club. If you did you got a membership card, badge and a book of bargains. Any of the goodies you sent away for out of the bargain book were sold at discount prices. So for instance they had things like roller skates, cowboy outfits, cameras and so on, with the ad emphasising a transistor radio, which is probably what I would have opted for.
Arrow Bars themselves were bars of toffee in different flavours.
The Love Hearts ad is also from 1968 and they came up with a competition as a way to entice kids to get hold of a Kodak Instamatic camera or a trannie. Pretty easy competition really - all you needed to do was figure out what their jumbled up slogans said. After that it was just a matter of sending your answer in, along with a winning slogan of your own, then cross your fingers and hope for the best.
The last example is the Super Mousse ad from 1972.
They were giving away free Apollo Mission sticker badges. Each badge referred to a different flight number and so all that was required was for you to collect 2 wrappers that had the same number printed on them, send them off and await your badge in return.
To collect the entire set of badges, meant, of course, that you had to chomp your way through an awful lot of chocolate bars!
Click on the ads to enlarge if you want to read the small details.


  1. Super Mousse! Had completely forgotten that even existed, let alone that I used to eat the things on a regular basis.. kind of a rival Milky Way, no?

  2. I'd forgotten too, and I used to love the Super Mousse bar! 2 new pence was the same price as a Mars bar. Don't remember the badges, even though we were all caught up with the moon landings.

  3. I got told off more than once for picking up discarded wrappers in the street. "Aw, but Mum...", I'd complain as the precious item fluttered away - one more you'd have to pay for.

    God help the poor Cadbury(?) employee who had to open the packets. You'd be sure to send the right number (maybe 40?), being absolutely certain they counted them all.

    I think the "free" gift was a voucher for more confectionery.

    All part of the process of educating innocent children to become cynical adults (with rotten teeth). Still, even now I sometimes find my eyes scanning the pavement, without knowing why. (sigh)