The Conservative Party is set to revert to a more positive campaign tack
in the autumn, following its two-month ‘new Labour, new danger’ blitz,
which launches this Thursday.
Meanwhile, Labour is planning to hit back with a series of four-page
inserts in the national press, outlining its draft manifesto.
The bursts of activity indicate that both parties have effectively
launched their general election campaigns, even though polling day could
still be ten months away.
M&C Saatchi’s pounds 2 million anti-Labour campaign is aimed at eroding
Tony Blair’s substantial opinion-poll lead.
Privately, some ministers are worried the campaign might backfire. But
Brian Mawhinney, the Tory chairman, has assured them that, after a two-
month push under the slogan ‘new Labour, new danger’, the party will
change gear and focus on the Government’s achievements with the line:
‘Life’s better under the Conservatives.’
The first Tory poster shows a sinister pair of eyes peering out from
behind a red curtain. It is dominated by the words ‘new Labour, new
danger’ - a slogan proposed by Steve Hilton, the Tory account manager at
M&C Saatchi. The ad was written by Jeremy Sinclair, a partner at M&C
Saatchi, and art directed by Carlos. There will be a limited back-up
campaign in the national press, bought by CIA Medianetwork. Poster
buying is through Concord.
Other ads will highlight specific issues and are understood to target
Labour policy on tax and spending, law and order, Europe, the
constitution, education and jobs.
The campaign was approved on Monday at a meeting of the cabinet, which
was given a presentation by the Tories’ three communications advisers -
Maurice Saatchi, Sir Tim Bell and Peter Gummer, the chairman of the PR