I was intrigued by my old friend Adrian Slade’s letter ‘Agencies cannot
change course of a British election’ (Campaign, 17 November).
First, because, as the ex-president of the Liberal Democrats, he is
being mildly humble in calling himself an ‘ordinary voter’.
Second, because his contention that advertising has made no difference
to the outcome of elections ignores the overriding issue of the right to
free speech and the democratic process. In a press environment dominated
by pro-political newspapers of one particular colour - blue -
advertising does help to redress the balance. And smaller parties can
put their views in the unhindered medium that is only advertising.
I also disagree with him having acted (alongside the London Media Group)
as media principal for the Labour Party in both the 1979 and 1983
elections and on numerous campaigns (including the ‘new Tory taxes’
poster) - the hassle was worth it - just about.
Bob Blatchford, CIA (UK) Holdings, London SE1