Conservative Party embarrassed by latest poster?

Conservative Party poster dont let SNP grab your cash

The Conservative Party have released a new poster that is plastered across marginal constituencies.  It features Alex Salmond, former leader of the the SNP, pinching some cash from the back pocket of an unsuspecting man.

The poster substantiates the headline claim and image by implying that the SNP would want more borrowing, higher taxes and increased welfare handouts in order to join a coalition government with Labour.

What is slightly strange about this poster launch is that the Conservative Party haven’t mentioned it once on their Twitter feed or Facebook Page.  Usually the Conservatives heavily promote their new posters on their social channels, so there is obviously some reason why this poster is being hushed up (despite the fact that I’ve driven by 3 sites carrying the poster in the 3 days since it launched…).

The only version of it I could find online were photos people had taken and posted on social media.

It’s certainly not one of the Conservative’s better posters.  The line of attack just doesn’t seem tenable.  Crucial to the success of an attack ad is believability; if the viewer hasn’t already had a nagging suspicion about the topic it will likely fall flat.

The ‘Miliband in Salmond’s pocket’ execution was so powerful because it was primarily about leadership.  It was an attack on the ability of Miliband to take control of a government – an idea that almost everyone would have played with in their mind at some point.

This execution, with its focus on the details of a fictional coalition deal, is wide of the mark.

It also seems like the public are beginning to tire of the SNP / Labour line of Tory attack.  The graph below from YouGov should give the Conservatives the nudge they need to return to their original strategy of focusing on the economy and leadership.

Issues discussed enough SNP

Labour: nurse applications open May 8th


The Labour Party have released a new poster which promotes their policy to recruit 20,000 more nurses.

It features an image of thousands of nurse-style fob watches and a sub header announcing that applications for these new jobs will open the day after polling day, May 8th.

It also carries a new campaign strap line: “It’s time to care. It’s time for a Labour government”.

This is the first really strong poster from Labour of the 2015 general election. And it’s a positive one!

The message is clear, with an appropriate and original visual. And there’s a bit of levity in there with the suggestion around the application date.

The policy is a salient one with the public; it’s also right in Labour’s comfort zone as well as being an area where the Conservatives lack credibility.

And the strap line is brilliant. It’s a twist on the classic challenger ‘time for a change’ slogan. It neatly encapsulates everything that Miliband and Labour are standing for.

The interesting thing about this poster is that if it had been released earlier in the campaign there’s a chance the Conservatives would have attacked it for being an example of Labour’s profligate spending plans. However, as the Tories have made plenty of spending commitments throughout the short campaign, the accusation won’t hold water.

The Labour campaign is really picking up steam heading into the final couple of weeks of the contest.


Sturgeon pulling the strings


The Conservative Party have released a new poster which features Nicola Sturgeon as a puppet master in control of Ed Miliband.

This is the 4th execution that the Conservatives have released on the theme of a Labour coalition government being at the beck and call of the SNP (Pocket 1, Pocket 2 and Dancer all preceding this one).

The attack has slightly lost its pungency as we are so familiar with it, but I suspect the message is only just beginning to land with undecided (and usually fairly uninterested) voters, so it’s understandable that the theme is recurrent.

The poster is well crafted. Miliband’s stance is awkward and amusing in a slapstick sort of way. The scowl for Sturgeon is well chosen; it’s only slightly menacing so as not to upset English voters that may have been vaguely taken with her during her TV debate appearances.

It’s very interesting to see that Salmond is no longer the boogeyman being featured. I suspect he’s quietly livid that he’s quite literally no longer the poster boy.

Jo Brand stars in new Labour Party Election Broadcast

Comedian Jo Brand stars in the Labour Party’s latest election broadcast which puts the spotlight on the Conservative Party’s record on the NHS.

This is exactly what a party election broadcast should be.

1. It’s single-minded.

2. The language used by the talent feels vaguely authentic.

3. The delivery isn’t forced.

By keeping the production within the confines of a studio they’ve been able to invest the production money available into cameras and lighting, which means it has a high quality look and feel.

And in order to prevent the viewer getting bored of just seeing someone talking at them down the barrel, there’s a sort of ‘behind-the-scenes’ style which gives an excuse to cut away from the talent from time to time.

Very good.

Labour’s campaign seems to be picking up speed and confidence in the final straight.

Eat Drink Think


Friends, I would like to invite you along to a new venture that I’m involved in called Eat Drink Think.


It’s a dining-with-a-difference event series with a simple concept; 3 courses of fresh seasonal cooking and 3 sessions of intellectual stimulation.


The event I am particularly promoting is called “General Election 2015; the story so far”.  It takes place on Thursday 30th April, 7.30pm at London Fields Brewery.


I am hosting it and will be joined on stage by three very special guests to discuss the election campaign so far. 


The confirmed guests are:


Philip Cowley; Academic & AuthorThe firmest grasp of the quirks and peculiarities that pervade UK elections

Stephen Bush; Online political editor, The New StatesmanThe freshest journalistic talent in Westminster

Caroline Kent; Daily Telegraph Columnist. The fiercest political punditry; Never knowingly on message


The mouth-watering menu is:


1stSpinach and Goat Cheese tart

2ndSalmon & whitebait fish cakes with spring green salad

3rdCaramelised and spiced banana cake

It would be amazing to see y’all there.  


Tickets available here.



UKIP have released a poster which attacks EU fisheries regulation.

It has a simple, clever headline with a strong accompanying visual.   

Many of UKIP’s target seats are coastal constituencies, so the subject matter is well-chosen too.

Very good.

Don’t make our heroes beg for more


UKIP have released a very emotive new poster outlining their policy of improved provision for the military.

The advert doesn’t go into much detail other than to commit to ‘more funds’ but that lack of rational underpinning aside, it’s a very strong piece of communication.

Supporting the armed forces is the exact sort of policy that UKIP’s target audience of ‘blue-collar, elderly, white and male’ voters feel passionately about.

The visual of a solidier begging for money using a helmet is very provocative and the quietly raging tone of the headline is spot on.

UKIP’s creative department seem to be finally getting into gear after an uncharacteristicly slow start to the  election campaign.