Between the Lines: Political ads are moribund

"Labour isn't working" declared Britain's most famous political poster almost 30 years ago. Now it seems the same can be said of the medium itself when it comes to delivering election-winning messages.

The verdict of a Government-ordered inquiry into political advertising that billboard blitzes are a waste of money is no surprise (page 1). What is surprising is that it should have taken so long for anybody to have reached such a conclusion.

The fact is that the major parties have retained an illogical emotional attachment to posters long after serious doubts emerged about their effectiveness.

In reality, heavyweight poster campaigns have had little effect on changing people's minds. They have always worked best when used tactically to target a handful of floating voters in key marginal constituencies.