William Hague has attacked poster advertising as a waste of money
and warned that the agency that wins the Conservative Party account will
have a slimline budget at the next general election.
The Tory leader said his party had learned lessons from last year’s
European Parliament elections, when it won an unexpected victory over
Labour despite running virtually no advertising.
’We did better without plastering the whole country with expensive
posters. We actually concentrated on getting the message right,’ Hague
’We didn’t put up 10,000 posters saying that but we did have a message
that people agreed with, that they believed in, that we believed in and
that’s why we won. Now that is what we will do at the next general
Tory strategists say the agency chosen to take over from M&C Saatchi
will get the money to run a newspaper campaign, but poster spending will
be cut. One line of attack will be to counter an expected Labour theme
of ’better the devil you know, don’t take a chance on the Tories.’ The
Tories will claim that Tony Blair could be replaced by Chancellor Gordon
Brown during the next Parliament if Labour wins.
The Tories have invited five agencies to pitch - Banks Hoggins
O’Shea/FCB, Bell Pottinger, Hype, Yellow M, and the Immediate Sales
Company, a subsidiary of M&C Saatchi.
At the 1997 general election, the Tories spent pounds 13 million on
advertising and Labour and the Referendum Party spent pounds 7 million