Andrew McGuinness, the agency's managing director, strongly defended its
campaign when he spoke at a reception held by the Advertising
Association during Labour's annual conference in Brighton this week.
He responded to criticism of Labour's ads by Liberal Democrat delegates
at the AA's fringe meeting during their conference last week, when
Robert Bean, the chairman of the party's agency, banc, insisted that
positive political ads could work.
McGuinness said: "In an advertising context, not only was it Labour's
right but its duty to highlight the inadequacies of its political
Recalling Qualcast's "Less bovver than a hovver" campaign, he said
Labour had a similar duty to show up the failures of the Tories while
they were in power.
He said the poster showing William Hague with Margaret Thatcher's hair,
which was conceived at the end of last year, was meant to demonstrate
the Tories' incompetence in the past and their likely failure if they
McGuinness insisted that not all of TBWA's ads were negative. He pointed
to its pre-election push thanking people for voting for Labour and for
change in 1997, and its "Work goes on" drive in April this year. He also
cited its "urgent reminder" to vote for schools and hospitals on the eve
of the polling day in June.
McGuinness revealed that TBWA had used "scenario planning", producing
hundreds of ads on 30 to 40 issues in case they were needed during the