Of course ads don’t win elections, any more than they sell cars - they
influence the choices people make, not dictate them. But to conclude
that advertising ‘made no difference to the result of elections’ flies
in the face of both the evidence and common sense.
Think of a Labour poster from the ’92 election. Well, any election
really. Go on, pick a poster - any poster. Stumped? Quite. The Tories,
by contrast, had the bizarrely brilliant ‘double whammy’, and the real
knock-out blow: ‘Labour’s tax bombshell’. Throughout its ’92
doorstepping, Labour canvassers heard almost nothing but: ‘I’m sorry
dear, I agree they’re a load of scoundrels and incompetents, but I just
can’t afford to pay another pounds 1,250 a year in tax.’
The Tory’s campaigns since 1979 have been consistently among the most
powerful and effective advertising there’s been - political or
otherwise. Of course they didn’t cause Conservative victories, but to
suggest they ‘made no difference’ is palpable nonsense.
Alan Paterson, Ampers&, London WC2