The poster shows what looks like the English countryside, along with Union Jack imagery and the line "let’s stay on the road to a stronger economy".
But it has been reported that the picture is from a stock photo on Getty Images, and is of a road in Germany – despite George Osborne telling Channel 4 News that it is "a British picture, a British road".
Alexander Burzik, the photographer, has told reporters that the road used in the poster was from a photograph he took in 2008 in Weimar, Central Germany but the sky and some other elements of the final image have been changed.
In addition to questioning the provenance of the photo, Twitter users were quick to subvert the message of the ad for example adding images of stately homes to the poster and using the hashtag #RoadToRuin.
At time of press, the Conservative Party had not responded to requests for a comment but it is understood that its in-house team created the ad.
The Labour Party has also released its first poster ahead of the General Election in May, created by their in-house team.
The ad shows an air brushed image of David Cameron, first used in 2010 and a running joke during that year's General Election. The accompanying text warns that the Tories want to "cut spending on public services back to the levels of the 1930s, when there was no NHS".
Both the Labour and Conservative parties have yet to formally appoint advertising agencies for this year’s election.
The Conservative Party appointed Havas Worldwide London for its 2010 campaign but ended up drafting in M&C Saatchi, a long-time partner, to help at a later stage.
Last year Labour hired Lucky Generals to create a TV spot attacking the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg.
In 2014 Campaign revealed Lucky Generals was in line for a General Election role.