Between the Lines: Cost of Labour's ad debacle

Political parties are masters of making ad bucks work hard. A couple of key poster sites can generate hundreds of thousands of pounds-worth of free publicity.

But with budgets slashed for the forthcoming election, the communications strategists are working even harder to make a cheap splash. Take the debacle over Labour's "anti-Semitic" posters (page 9). The work was only posted on a website at minimum expense but generated acres of coverage and hammered home an unsavoury message.

But word has it the ads have caused internal strife within the party.

Lord Levy, Labour's chief fundraiser, apparently has yet to generate much financial support from key Jewish business chiefs. With Labour's campaign coffers looking rather empty without significant donations from the Jewish community, the need for a cost-effective ad strategy is more crucial than ever.