Should you feature your opponent’s leader in your attack ads?

Me getting defensive on the BBC Daily Politics
Me getting defensive on the BBC Daily Politics

I was kindly invited on to the BBC’s Daily Politics Show today to discuss negative political advertising and debate whether or not Labour are doing the right thing in deciding not to feature David Cameron in their campaign posters.

Here’s a link to the feature:

Latest Conservative attacks on Labour




The quality of the content being distributed by The Conservative Party on their social media channels remains consistently high.

The three featured here are the strongest of the last week or so.

The aim behind this content is threefold:

1. Fire-up their own activists who follow the account and give them material to use on the doorstep.

2. Depress the opposition supporters, many of whom also follow the account.

3. Build a narrative amongst journalists and influencers who keep an eye on the party’s social media activity.

And there’s always the chance (albeit a very small one) that an image created between now and polling day might capture the imagination of enough people that it could spill into the mainstream and influence undecided voters.

Lib Dems borrow from Tory poster

Lib Dem poster dont let britain take the wrong turn

The Liberal Democrats have released a poster which borrows from the Conservative poster ‘road to recovery’ (a.k.a ‘highway to hell’) from earlier in the year.

The strategy is sound enough; it accuses Labour of being profligate with public money and the Conservative Party of being ruthlessly obsessed with cuts.

The creative execution is, however, very lazy indeed.  Creating a ‘piss-take’ poster 3 weeks after the original came-out is completely pointless.  It’s either got to be within hours of the original or not at all.  And even then, it has to be very funny indeed.  This is neither timely, nor amusing.  Must do better.

Dusting down the 1992 Conservative Party Playbook

Plenty of commentators have pointed out the similarities between the electoral landscape that preceded the 1992 General Election and the circumstances that we find ourselves in now.

Indeed, the Conservative Party have quietly admitted to “dusting down the 1992 play book” in preparation for the 2015 electoral battle.

So, I thought it might be interesting to revisit some of the creative ideas from 1992 that Tory HQ may be resuscitating in the coming weeks.

Labour put the bite on savings 1992 mosquito blood

Defence 1992 Conservative Poster hedgehog porcupine

You  cant trust labour 1992

Labour-Tax-Bombshell 1992 poster


In come labour, income taxes 1992 v2

Green Party poster: Spot the difference

Green Party spot the difference end of page 3 sun newspaper

The Green Party have released a poster to coincide with the fact that the Sun Newspaper have decided to stop featuring topless glamour models on it’s Page 3.

The advert carrying the end line ‘Spot the difference’ features the leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems and UKIP taking part in The Sun Newspapers stunt to launch their coverage of the 2014 World Cup.  This is placed in stark contrast to Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP, who is pictured wearing a t-shirt campaigning against the Sun’s daily publication of partially naked girls in.

The implication of the poster is that those parties have long been courting the Rupert Murdoch owned newspaper and in doing so have been complicit in the regular dose of sexism that some feel Page 3 served up.

It’s a very clever piece of advertising that distances the Greens from their competitors and will likely be successful at recruiting the support of those who favour a radical break from the political parties that have dominated elections in Britain for the last few decades.

Green Party poster: what are you afraid of boys?

Green Party what are you afraid of boys general election tv debates

Green Party what are you afraid of boys general election tv debates westminster

The Green Party have released a poster which challenges the other, male-led, political parties to allow them into the televised leaders debates.

The Greens have seen a bounce in the polls since the issue around their lack of invitation to the TV debates was raised, so it’s unsurprising they’re trying to maintain momentum on the topic.

The poster’s headline “what are you afraid of, boys” also highlights that the Green Party’s only MP is female and that the party is also led by a woman; celebrating this point of difference versus the competition will help them pick-up left wing anti-Westminster votes.

Labour posters on NHS



The Labour Party have released their first batch of posters since the start of the official General Election 2015 campaign.

Both focus on the NHS. And both are absolutely terrible.

One features a meme from the 2010 election as its basis and includes a 21 word headline (one should always aim for 8 or less). The other uses a stock image and the level or art direction you would expect from someone using PowerPoint for the first time.

This sort of thing makes the party look so completely cheap and thoughtless. Not exactly two values which people aspire to associate themselves with.