Britain’s advertising industry is making Labour the top target during
the party conference season in its biggest effort yet to influence the
potential members of an incoming government.
In contrast to what will be a relatively low-key effort at the
Conservative conference in Bournemouth, the Advertising Association is
pulling out all the stops for Labour at Blackpool next week. There will
be a state-of-the-art exhibition stand and a PR initiative fronted by
Lord Hollick, the Labour peer and chief executive of United News and
AA executives believe this is their big chance to help mould Labour
policy in the wake of a recent appeal by Nigel Griffiths, the party’s
consumer affairs spokesman, for the industry to make its views known
(Campaign, 30 August).
The AA is spending about pounds 7,000 on the stand, which will feature a
touch-screen competition, as part of its attempt to promote the self-
regulatory system and advertising’s importance to the economy.
Meanwhile, Hollick, who is also a member of the AA’s president’s
committee, will host a reception which will be attended by more than 100
However, Jonathan Bullock, the AA’s head of external affairs, said the
heavy emphasis on Labour did not mean that the association regarded the
outcome of the next general election as a foregone conclusion.
‘It’s not that we necessarily expect Labour to form the next
government,’ Bullock said. ‘It’s just that the party is still making up
its mind about advertising and there is a real chance to influence its