Saatchi tells Tories advertising can’t make a bad product good

The Tory peer, Maurice Saatchi, has told the Conservative Party that advertising is a double-edged sword that will not help a poor product.

The Tory peer, Maurice Saatchi, has told the Conservative Party

that advertising is a double-edged sword that will not help a poor

product.



Although he was speaking about advertising generally, some Tories in his

audience at last week’s party conference in Bournemouth interpreted his

comments as a veiled reference to M&C Saatchi’s ill-fated campaign at

last year’s general election.



Saatchi said: ’It (advertising) accelerates failure when the cause is

weak. It clarifies and strengthens the cause that is strong. Only honest

thought and merchandise can stand the limelight or organised publicity

for any length of time.’



Far from being the ’demon’ its detractors claim it to be, advertising is

a two-edged weapon that makes a little-recognised contribution to

society by forcing advertisers to live up to their claims.



Saatchi’s speech, at a fringe meeting organised by the Advertising

Association, appealed to Tories to back the industry’s fight against

pressure for greater regulation. It came as senior Tories confirmed they

wanted to avoid an expensive contract with an agency at the next

election and plan to set up a creative forum of volunteers (Campaign, 18

September).



Archie Norman, the party’s chief executive, believes there is no reason

why the party should repeat the pounds 1 million fee M&C Saatchi

received for its multi-million-pound blitz. Tory officials, who clashed

with Saatchi over the campaign, believe they will have more control over

an in-house effort.



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