The Liberal Democrats have decided not to appoint an agency to handle
their general election campaign following the demise in September of
Knight Leach Delaney (Campaign, 27 September).
Instead, Paddy Ashdown’s party will rely on volunteers from the
industry. They will include two leading figures from KLD - Stuart Leach,
who was the managing director, and Andy Ray, the head of art. Both of
them are now working at Rapier Stead Bowden.
Leach and Ray, who were helping the Lib Dems before KLD landed the
party’s account this spring, will serve on the small creative team that
will now handle its election campaign. Other sympathisers from the ad
industry may be co-opted as polling day approaches.
Alison Holmes, the Lib Dems’ election planning manager, said the issue
of an agency appointment might be reviewed early next year, but that the
party was now likely to stick with the creative team. Bringing in an
agency at a late stage ‘might upset the apple-cart’.
She added: ‘We do not need a full-service agency. We know who we are and
we don’t need a new image. We just need to ensure consistency in our
‘We are now happy with the way the creative team is developing. It is
important to us that they are supporters of the party. We don’t just
want a hired gun.’
Lib Dem strategists admit another reason why they do not need an agency
is that their election ad budget is likely to be limited to around