The Conservative Party has approved a two-stage communications strategy
which will make the economy the key battleground at the next general
The plan, recommended by Maurice Saatchi, aims to re-establish the
Tories’ economic credentials before warning the voters not to risk
allowing Labour to wreck the economic recovery.
Phase one was launched this Thursday with a Party Political Broadcast
showing how the British economy is out-performing other European
countries on employment, inflation and investment. It shows a group of
workers who appear to be in Britain but turn out to be in Germany.
The PPB, by M&C Saatchi, was the agency’s first since it was appointed
by the Tories last December. It was flagged by a teaser campaign in some
national newspapers on Thursday. The press ad told people to tune into
the broadcast ‘to see what the opposition say about Britain’.
The film was written by Maurice Saatchi, Jeremy Sinclair - a founding
partner at the agency - and Steve Hilton, who acted as the middle man
between Conservative Central Office and Saatchi and Saatchi during the
1992 election campaign.
This week’s pounds 100,000 push is expected to be followed by a poster
campaign and press ads - also concentrating on the economy - over the
next few months. There will also be PPBs and ads to coincide with the
local authority elections in May.
The campaign has been shaped by a newly formed trio of outsiders
advising the Tories - Saatchi, Sir Tim Bell and Peter Gummer, chairman
of the Sandwick public relations company. Their ideas were discussed by
John Major’s Cabinet when it held talks on general election planning on
Some Tory sympathisers in the advertising world are worried that the
strategy is too negative, but Tory bosses insist the campaign is
positive and that it will prove effective.