Philip Gould, Lord Bell and Trevor Beattie
Rumours are rife that 3 political advertising luminaries of elections past have been drafted back into the front line.
At a recent Labour Party fundraiser Alastair Campbell was reportedly dropping Blair’s former adman Beattie’s name in at regular intervals and discussing ideas the two were working on.
At an event held by the IPA last night, Lord Bell (involved in the infamous Labour isn’t working) was ‘outed’ as being back in the political advertising game. Bell let on that David Abbott – one of the greatest copywriters of all time - had recently written him a poster around the thought “the economy is Brown bread”. Very good.
And Philip Gould – a founder of New Labour and author of political communication bible The Unfinished Revolution - is featured on the Labour Party’s new create an ad website (and is presumably helping to judge the winner) offering tips on creating a good political poster: “Keep the message simple; use strong images; try to weave in humour wherever possible” . Couldn’t agree more.
As the result of the election gets ever more uncertain it seems the parties have called upon the communications experts who have served them so well in the past. With these guys on board, I’m sure there will be advertising fireworks to come!
Polling company ComRes and the UK’s biggest online betting company BETFAIR have joined forces to make some fantastic widgets that predict and track the results of the 2010 general election.
The widget above (wordpress currently won’t let me embed the widget, so just an image at the moment) tracks polls from the UK’s six biggest polling companies (ComRes, YouGov, ICM, Angus Reid, Populus and MORI) to give the most accurate reflection of public opinion. The graph will be updated live as and when new polls are released, so that you are kept right up-to-date with all the movements over the course of the campaign.
The ebbs and flows of polls will have a huge influence on the tone and content of the political advertising that is released throughout the election. And, you never know, maybe a political advert might end up having some sort of effect on the polls!
I’ve just been informed that my one-man campaign to get TV broadcast political advertising legalised in the UK isn’t in fact as niche (don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that it’s still a postive crany in the long corridor of UK issue campaigns) as I originally thought. Media law giants and experts Lewis Silkin have been pursuing this agenda for the last couple of years (see above), they’ve even produced a badge!… no I don’t have this fastened on to my anorak… except perhaps proverbially.
There is an absolutely fantastic article in this week’s Campaign magazine – can advertising help re-elect labour.
Luminaries from across the advertising industry give their comment, including Sir Chris Powell – former Chairman of BMP DDB and author of ‘How the Left learned to love Advertising’ – who captured the broad sentiment of the piece when he said: “…you can’t just do it with advertising… you need a good strategy, based on some truth, with some great ads to get it across”
Robert Campbell’s response was also very witty: “Could I save Gordon Brown with a poster? Not in a million years. I only wish I was that good and advertising was that powerful.”
A fantastic new billboard campaign for The Green Party by Glue London. The campaign reminds Brighton constituents and visiting Labour Party activists about the Green Party’s recent victory over Labour in the EU Parliamentary elections.
The use of collaged newspaper to create images of Labour’s big beasts and the headline copy of ‘Labour is old news’ is very smart and beautifully executed.
Total Politics magazine has a really interesting feature article on whether or not the law should change on political advertising. It features Guido Fawkes in the ‘yes it should change’ and Nigel Evans (Tory MP) for the ‘no it shouldn’t’.
Regular readers will be unsurprised that I side with Guido. I could add a number of others, but agree with all of his 3 guiding principles of:
“An ideological preference for freedom, the practical consideration that it would reengage the public, and that it would boost the competitiveness of the political market.”
Thanks to Katherine for sending this over.
Vote for me?
Camilla Ferranit, pictured above, makes up one of many other glamorous faces that Silvio Berlusconi has unveiled as prospective European Parliamentary MPs for Italy.
If his candidates are political lightweights and don’t have an idea between them, this is a shameless PR stunt that will doubtless backfire. The vast majority of people take elections for who will represent them very seriously and any attempt to turn the European elections into a beauty contest will almost certainly be rebuffed.
However, if they are equally or more politically competent, driven and engaged with the population than a bunch of grey haired fella’s then I applaud Mr Berlusconi for bringing in to politics, in his words, “new and young faces”.
The ANC Youth League in South Africa have made threats of direct action and legal complaints against Nandos for the above advertisment. The major complaint is that it is a racist portrayal of ANC Youth Leader Julius Malema. Nandos are claiming that haven’t fallen foul of any legislation (pun shamefully intended).
Above is a photo from the press stunt that was held in Westiminster recently to further promote the Axe The Beer Tax campaign. This campaign is begining to pick up steam, with major brewers adding their weight with in-pub promotions and poster sites on the outside of breweries.
With the Chancellor’s budget report happening tomorrow, this campaign (and others across the political and issue spectrum) will be waiting with baited breath for some good news. Given the grave economic times, it is extremely unlikely that the beer tax will indeed be axed, but I doubt this will prevent Pinty and the gang having a few brews tomorrow after Darling’s speech!
Another day, another ruling that banning advertising with political content from the airwaves is illegal. Adbusters – who made the above spot – has scored a great victory in The Supreme Court of British Columbia in Canada. In a case against Canada’s CBC and Canwest Global, the court ruled that the airwaves are a public property where freedom of speech must prevail (judges’ ruling here).