The Labour party is said to have dropped plans for a major online advertising campaign following reports that online pop-up ads used in the US presidential election irritated potential voters.
A survey published last month by the US E-voter Institute reported that online political ads had unintended and sometimes damaging results. It showed that Democrat leader Al Gore's adverts induced Republicans to vote for Republican leader George W Bush, but not the other way round, and vice-versa.
The survey, which tracked 40,000 customers of a free US ISP which asks consumers to allow their surfing habits to be tracked and analysed, claimed 60% of Democrats who saw online ads for Bush were enticed to vote for Gore.
But despite an insider claiming the campaign is off, the Labour Party is remaining tightlipped. The source claimed Labour did not think an online campaign was necessary for the forthcoming elections this year, but that the party wanted to gain experience for the next election, when online advertising would be seen by more voters.
A spokesman denied that it has shelved an online campaign. He said: "Labour is always looking at innovative ways of campaigning and we are ruling nothing out at this stage."