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9 March 2010

Exclusive: the Tories will launch another poster campaign

The move comes despite the failure of recent blitzes.

By James Macintyre

The Conservative Party is to launch a fresh poster blitz across the country, despite the widespread ridicule and failure of its poster campaigns so far this year, Newstatesman.com has learned.

Advertising industry sources have revealed that the party has reserved poster sites to use in the coming weeks. Though the move will be seen as risky after the reaction to recent Tory posters — including an airbrushed one of David Cameron that was morphed by internet users, including the website mydavidcameron.com — it is believed that the plan was drawn up before the perceived failure of the strategy.

News of the campaign comes as a poll reportedly shows Labour and the Conservatives “neck and neck” in the marginal seats that are crucial under the warped first-past-the-post British electoral system.

The gap between the parties in the marginals has narrowed despite the money being pumped into these constituencies by David Cameron’s Tories (a mini-campaign funded by the party’s controversial deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft). The airbrushed poster blitz alone cost the party £500,000.

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A Labour source said that news of another poster campaign shows that the Tories are “not just sticking with the same failed old policies, but sticking with the same failed old campaign methods, too”.

For more on the general election campaign look out for this week’s magazine, available in most good newsagents from Thursday this week.