Banks Hoggins O’Shea appears to be the front runner in the race to pick
up a multi-million pound campaign for the Referendum Party, the
brainchild of the multi-millionaire businessman, Sir James Goldsmith.
The agency handled a pounds 100,000 push for the party this week with
full-page ads in the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the Times and the
Independent. The ads were based on a letter from Goldsmith, which
dismissed John Major’s plans for a referendum on a single European
currency as an ‘empty gesture’.
Sources in the Referendum Party said it was talking to ‘two or three
agencies’, including Banks Hoggins, but declined to name the other shops
being considered. The source insisted that no decision had yet been
taken on which agency would handle the party’s general election
In a newsletter sent to 60,000 supporters this week, Goldsmith promised
to appoint an agency shortly. He plans to match what the Conservative
Party and Labour Party spend on ads at the election - probably pounds 2-
pounds 3 million each. He could even out-spend them. Goldsmith is
reported to be ready to invest a total of pounds 20 million at the next
His party plans to put up a candidate in every constituency where no
other candidate has pledged their support for a referendum on Europe.
This week’s ads aimed to show that he will not abort his plans if Major
promises to let the British people vote on a single currency.
The multi-millionaire’s plans have set alarm bells ringing at
Conservative Central Office, where some officials have warned that
Goldsmith’s party could win enough votes to deprive the Tories of
several marginal seats.
John Banks, a managing partner at Banks Hoggins, gave informal advice to
the Tories during the 1987 election campaign while he was at Young and