Tories target voters in red-tape ad campaign

By Ian Darby,, Friday, 02 July 2004 12:00AM

The Conservative Party is launching its first salvo in the run-up to the next general election under the banner: "The right to choose."

Immediate Sales, a division of M&C Saatchi, has developed a fully integrated campaign, backed by a spend of close to £1 million, that will initially focus on health and education.

The creative attempts to paint Labour as a party that has encouraged a red-tape culture while conveying a message that the Conservatives offer more personal freedom.

It takes two stages: the first demonstrating to teachers and doctors that they will be freed from red tape if the Tories win power and the second showing the public how services will improve.

Press advertising, which breaks this week with two executions targeting parents and teachers, shows people breaking through red tape alongside copy that highlights the Tory education policy. The ads carry the line: "The people should be big. The state should be small."

Advertising will run in national press titles including The Times, The Guardian and the Daily Mail. The party is also running ads in women's titles for the first time. These include Hello!, OK!, Bella and Take a Break.

Executions highlighting health issues will follow the education work.

Advertising will appear in trade titles such as GP, Hospital Doctor and the Times Education Supplement.

Media planning and buying is by Media Planning Group.

The print work is backed by a roadshow, a new magazine, a website (, PR, direct mail and online advertising.

Guerilla marketing is also expected to form a part of the Tory attack on Labour's own education strategy.

Will Harris, the head of communications at the Conservative Party, said: "We had a clear vision, which was to be very positive and to create a vision for the Tory brand that people could buy into and, eventually, vote for."

The campaign was written by Michael Mosynski and Alan Jarvie. Nick Schon was the art director and the photographer was Gary Powers.

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