Starling Bank

Tackling stereotypes on women and money

Starling Bank has been campaigning to remove negative gender stereotypes from public conversations around money since 2018. Fast forward to 2021, and change is still needed to #MakeMoneyEqual. We created a campaign that put the issue in the spotlight and offered a positive solution.

Combined media reach
interactions on social media

Eye-rolling stuff

The campaign centred on gendered representations of money in media and advertising. Working with Brunel University’s Professor Shireen Kanji and team, we analysed over 600 photographs from 3 of the biggest image libraries used for articles about money and finance. The study found that women are regularly portrayed as childlike, immature or naïve around money. And that’s before we get into age and body type diversity among the women depicted. The resulting report is packed with important insights that have the power not only to change minds, but also – given the importance of money to wellbeing – lives, too.

Not a stock solution

We knew the media would cover the study. But we wanted to push the campaign further. We used our insights to create a new, unbiased image library for everyone to access.

Working with Lensi Photography principal Denise Maxwell, we arranged a representative photography shoot. Guided by her expertise as well as the report findings, we took into account the types of women shown, the actions they’re taking, the settings they’re in and even the background objects in shot to create a library of 100 images that are better, fairer and totally free. This took the campaign beyond raising awareness to making a difference.

Positive and productive

This wasn’t just about making a splash. The campaign had to be managed with the utmost sensitivity and an optimistic outlook to ensure Starling Bank wouldn’t be perceived as preachy or critical. We arranged a media breakfast with Starling CEO Anne Boden, Professor Kanji and key consumer lifestyle, social affairs and money writers; briefed picture editors on the resource, and engaged with key stakeholders. Because positive conversations are the most productive.

“Starling Bank doesn’t accuse women of financial incompetence, but pledges to make money easy to manage with a usability and transparency that has been previously unavailable to customers.”

The Guardian

Women shown as small-time savers while men are big spenders in ‘sexist’ stock images
How Starling Bank’s new campaign highlights the demeaning way women are portrayed in financial…
Women shown as small-time savers while men are big spenders in ‘sexist’ stock images and some more


  • Winner Best use of Social Media, PRCA Digital Awards 2022
  • Winner Campaign to Reduce Inequality, ESG Awards 2021
  • Winner Gender Equality Campaign, ESG Awards 2021
  • Finalist D&I Campaign, Creative Moment Awards 2021
  • Winner Financial Services Campaign, Creative Moment Awards 2021
  • Finalist (Winner TBC) Financial Services Campaign, PR Week Awards 2022
  • Finalist (Winner TBC) FS & Corporate PRCA National Awards 2022

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