BMP DDB Needham unveiled its first press ad for Labour this week in a
pre-emptive strike aimed at limiting the political impact of any tax
cuts in this month’s Budget.
The full-page ad, which ran only in the Times, listed a ‘world
prosperity league’ in which Britain had fallen from 13th to 18th place
since 1979. Using a football analogy, the copy asks: ‘If you’d slumped
to 18th, wouldn’t you get new management?’
Labour officials said the choice of the Times showed that there were no
‘no-go areas’ for the party. It follows speculation that some newspapers
owned by the Times proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, may endorse the Labour
leader, Tony Blair, at the next general election.
Gordon Brown, the Shadow Chancellor, also unveiled a mobile advan
bearing the same ad, which toured the City this Wednesday in a bid to
bolster Labour’s support in the traditionally hostile financial
The Labour campaign, which claims Britain has ‘fallen behind’, echoes
Saatchi and Saatchi’s first work for the Conservative Party in 1978. A
ground-breaking party political broadcast, written by Jeremy Sinclair,
said Britain was ‘going backward’ under Labour and showed commuters
walking backwards over Waterloo Bridge.
Labour officials said the BMP ad was the opening salvo of the party’s
campaign in the run-up to the Budget and that further press work was
The ad, which also includes more than 350 words of copy, was suggested
by the party rather than the agency.
Chris Powell, chief executive of BMP, led the agency to pick up the
Labour account from Butterfield Day Devito Hockney this summer. It made
its debut last month with two posters and a PPB using rhyming slang.