Conservative party activists have blamed poor advertising by M&C
Saatchi for their crushing defeat at last year’s general election.
Many of the 2,500 party members who took part in the 260 group
discussions on the election disaster said the Tories had been outgunned
by Labour’s slick communications machine.
A confidential report, leaked to Campaign, says: ’Many groups were left
unimpressed by the Conservative party’s advertising in the run up to,
and during, the campaign ... Many groups felt the party failed to
communicate ’good news’ effectively.
’The importance of the media and advertising was recognised by most
Many members felt that relations between the party and the media damaged
the Tory party’s standing with the electorate during the campaign and
ultimately had a negative effect on the election result.’
Many Tories urged party bosses to emulate Labour’s professionalism and
the way Tony Blair successfully communicated his party’s messages. One
local Tory association asked: ’Where is our Peter Mandelson?’
Although specific ads are not mentioned in the report, it is understood
that many Tory activists singled out M&C Saatchi’s ’weeping lion’ for