Poster tactics point to April general election

The Conservative Party has reviewed its general election strategy by booking space for a huge poster blitz in March, suggesting John Major may call the election on 10 April.

The Conservative Party has reviewed its general election strategy

by booking space for a huge poster blitz in March, suggesting John Major

may call the election on 10 April.



Poster industry sources say the Tories have cancelled some of their

bookings for late April and early May and bought heavily in the second

half of March and early April.



Although the move could be a contingency plan in case Major is forced to

go to the country before his preferred date of 1 May, it will fuel

speculation that he will announce an April election rather than hang on

until the last possible month.



’In the past few weeks, the Tories have been moving money forward,’ said

one industry source.However, Tory officials insisted John Major still

favoured a 1 May election. They declined to comment on the party’s

poster plans, which are handled by M&C Saatchi with buying by

Concord.



The Tories’ change of tack emerged as the two main parties traded

insults over this week’s multi-million pound poster and national press

blitz by M&C Saatchi, warning a Labour government would end in tears.

The posters bear the slogans ’New Labour new taxes’, ’New Labour new job

losses’, ’New Labour new price rises’ and ’New Labour new mortgage risk’

and feature red tears.



With 3,000 sites, it is believed to be the biggest poster offensive by a

British political party outside the three-week general election

period.



BMP DDB hit back for Labour on Tuesday with a tactical poster showing a

dithering John Major and a line attacking his ’22 tax rises since

1992’.



However, Labour is holding its main pre-election fire until the end of

this month when it will launch a big poster offensive spelling out its

’nightmare vision’ of a re-elected Tory government. Campaign’s

disclosure of the Labour blitz (Campaign, 13 December 1996) prompted the

Tories to issue a dossier branding Labour as the party of ’negative

campaigning’.



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