TBWA/London won the party's approval to target the Tory leader and
shadow chancellor personally after arguing that injecting humour into
the general election campaign would engage disaffected voters. Labour is
worried that many people are bored and apathetic about politics and will
not bother voting, and that many of the party's traditional supporters
Labour claims a Tory government would mean a return to the 'boom and
bust' economic policies it says marked the Thatcher and Major
The ad will appear on 1,000 posters in a pounds 1 million blitz, and is
based on a spoof feature film called Economic Disaster II.
TBWA has also made a video on the same theme. Cinema distributors are
understood to be unwilling to show it in cinemas, but Labour plans to
hand out videos in cinema queues.
Labour officials said they were delighted with Trevor Beattie's work,
denying the party was 'going negative' in response to Yellow M's
campaign for the Tories. This has focused on Labour's record on public
services, rather than Tory policies.
A Labour source said: 'This is about making the campaign interesting.
It's very funny, confident and ballsy. We want to entertain people while
getting over a serious message not to let the Tories back in.'
With both parties maintaining a strong advertising presence, Labour
officials hope the foot-and-mouth crisis will not force Tony Blair to
postpone the election beyond 3 May, which would disrupt their campaign
Tories privately hope for a delay, despite needing funds for a prolonged