M&C Saatchi is set to be paid a fee of more than pounds 1 million for
its pounds 10 million campaign for the Conservative Party in the run-up
to the general election.
An agency fee of pounds 1,020,000 for the period running from this month
to May 1997, when John Major plans to hold the election, is disclosed in
a Tory campaign budget which was leaked to Labour’s election strategist,
Tory insiders confirmed the proposed fee marked a shift from the
previous system under which both the Tories and Labour paid agencies a
token fee between elections knowing that they would pick up commission
of about 15 per cent on a three-week campaign spend of between pounds 2
and pounds 3 million.
The leaked document, which the Tories say they have not yet approved,
proposes a poster blitz costing more than pounds 7 million, starting
with a three-month campaign from 1 July with the theme ‘new Labour, new
The rest of the pounds 10 million budget is accounted for by party
political broadcasts, the agency fee and VAT.
The leaking of the document, written by Steve Hilton, account manager on
the Tory business, has embarrassed the Tories and led to a tightening of
security at both M&C Saatchi and Conservative Central Office.