Posts Tagged: Labour

It’s political correctness gone mad, no this time it really is

What do you think of the latest Labour poster, inspired by one of the few good lines by Gordon Brown during yesterday’s leaders debate?

You may, like me, find it rather funny, emit a chuckle then carry on with your day.

But the Tories were last night attempting a smear job on Labour claiming that the ad is offensive to people in wheelchairs.

Are they that out of touch that they’ve never seen Little Britain? Or is something else going on here?

Veteran CCHQ spinner Henry Macrory led the charge and others followed in condemning the ad. Now whileMacrory’s outrage may be genuine – as he’s not exactly in the Little Britain demographic – I’m pretty sure most of the ire is just pure mischief-making.

PerhapsTeam Daveis also worried that Labourhas learntits lesson after the Gene Hunt poster mega-fail. Namelythatusing aspirational characters in attack ads is stupid beyond belief.

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What’s with Dave’s new poster?

The latest Tory ‘creative’ depicts David Cameron – reportage-style, shirtsleeves up and a definite lack of airbrushing – accompanied by the booming caption: ‘Let’s cut benefits for those who refuse to work.’ So much for the ‘Big Society’, showcased last week, it doesn’t even seem to be worth backing up with marketing spend.

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A manifesto for design

I’ve been trying to imagine the conversations that took place with the designers of the Labour and Conservative manifestos.


Labour: We want it to look like Obama’s campaign
Designer: The Hope poster? Great, that’s an iconic piece of design.
Labour: Yes. Except the UK’s not like Amercia. We’d need it to be a teeny bit different.
Designer: Go on…
Labour: Well, don’t put Gordon in it to start. Use a young family instead – that way people will know we’re on their side. Then, make it more colourful. The Amercian one’s too drab. We want people to feel optimisitic so use loads of nice brights like yellow, orange, green, blue and lilac. Oh, and just so people know we’re in touch with Britain, put some rolling countryside in and some hedges and trees. It needs to look like a bright, optimistic landscape – you know the sort of thing I mean. And put the line “a future fair for all” right in the middle where everyone can see it, not stuck away at the bottom. And do that in red because that’s supposed to be our colour after all.
Designer: Right. Anything else?
Labour: You know the sun in Obama’s logo? We’d like one of those please. Only, can you make sure it looks like a sun and not a moon? Add some big rays to it.
Designer: Here you go.
Labour: Doesn’t look much like Obama’s.
Designer: No. I wonder why?


Conservative: We don’t want this to look like it’s been designed by expensive designers.
Designer: Do it yourself then.
Conservative: OK.
Designer: Goodbye.

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How to do online campaigning

You’ve probably – being worldly-wise marketing types – already come across our new wheeze ripping its way across the net.If not it won’t be long until you do.

There’s a new party on the loose and it’s after your vote.Well I say new… but the Labservatives have been around now for 65 years. And as the new poster says, “We’ve had 65 years to get it right, so what’s another five?”

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Tories claim poster success in defeating policy that never was

The Tories have been in touch about their Death Tax ad created by their, ahem, agency Euro RSCG. Apparently it was a key driver in defeating something that didn’t exist. Great job on that.

The shamelessly scaremongering ad (gravestone/old people, anyone?) they say was a key driver in defeating a £20,000 levy that the Tories said Labour planned to take from voters to help pay for elderly care.

Except that this ad was based on an erroneous story in the Guardian that claimed health secretary Andy Burnham was seriously considering the move.

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#Askthechancellors points to a much more social future

Last night’s debate #Askthechancellors had few surprises but it did prove to be a big hit both in terms of the 2m who tuned in at the peak and thousands who took part in what was the first mass social media political event in this country.

It is true that many many more watched ‘Eastenders’ (2m versus 9m), but not I think a let down as this was really the warm up for the three 90 minute leader debates.

I enjoyed last night’s event and it offered up some surprises even if for me, like most (I’m guessing), it confirmed my existing prejudices.

Looking at Twitter and the blogs this morning that seems to be the overall reaction with the Liberal Democrat Vince Cable showing stately wisdom (not to mention the evening’s sound bite with “pin-striped Scargills”) than his rivals Alasdair Darling and George Osborne (I know it wasn’t just me who thought he looked like the head boy).

Tory Osborne struggled, but to be fair he also scored with his death tax remark that Darling looking uncomfortable at times bought upon himself. But even that score wasn’t enough to dispel the overall impression that Osborne was the loser.

This was all confirmed by viewers who took part in an online vote during the programme that awarded victory to Cable with 36% of votes, compared with 32% for Darling and 32% for Osborne. Coincidentally this chimes with a YouGov/C4 poll before the show that gave Cable victory (do a lot of Lib Dems watch Channel 4?), but put Darling second rather than tying.

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The nasty party’s back and this time it’s personal

So the gloves are off and the Conservatives have ditched the sunshine rhetoric to reconnect with their inner ‘nasty party’.

Yesterday they unveiled a set of sarcastic attack posters highlighting Labour’s supposed failings next to a grinning Gordon Brown saying: ‘Vote for me’.

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Our ad agency isn’t working, but will negative campaigning?

The tooing and froing in the advertising world this week as the Tories drafted in M&C Saatchi to nudge nudge “work alongside” Euro RSCG has been fun to watch.

In the official version of events broken by Campaign “Euro RSCG retains its lead agency status”, but the unofficial version is that the Tories are said to have hired M&C Saatchi weeks ago.

They did it after the amusing David Cameron airbrush debacle broke. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer agency (did you read David Jones’s comment referring to the “Brown regime” – who talks like that?).

As the spoofing gathered pace online spread virally with the help of blogs, Twitter and communities like Mumsnet Euro RSCG’s goose was cooked highlighted nicely by this spoof poster produced by Beau Bo D’Or.

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If Parliament hangs, so will the ad men

The next 6-8 weeks could provide the closest run election in more than a decade. If that wasn’t tantalising enough, yesterday’s announcement that the Tories had turned to their old sparring partner M&C Saatchi and pitched them against Labour’s incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi brings adland’s interest sharply into focus, adding an intriguing sideshow to the fun and games ahead.

Not that we needed an extra reason to be interested. From TV and radio, to outdoor, digital and DM, the unending stream of sloganeering, positioning, repositioning and, with a bit luck, attack-dog marketing is the kind of thing that can’t help but get the blood flowing, red, blue or otherwise.

It would be nice to think policy and ideology will ultimately decide the result, but whether it’s a ‘will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights’ Sun front page, a ‘Labour isn’t working’ billboard or a misplaced aside caught on camera and immortalised on YouTube, rightly or wrongly, advertising, marketing, media and PR will help shape whether we ‘vote for change’, have ‘a future fair for all’, or, choose, deep breath, ‘change that works for you – building a fairer Britain’.

Which is where this blog comes in. We’ve lined up contributors from all the main parties to help explain the strategies and creative work they hope will deliver the votes required alongside industry experts and our own correspondents to pass comment on whether the job they’re doing is hitting the mark.

We’ll be featuring the campaigns as they happen and debating the effectiveness of key moments – please add your comments and ignite the conversation.

If you have an article you’d like to post that you feel is relevant to the Red, yellow and blue blog, email me at

Rich Sutcliffe

Editor, Brand Republic

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