.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Notorious political advertisments

How did I miss this article by David Williamson in the Western Mail outlining some of the most controversial political advertisments of recent times?

He starts with the 1978 image of a snaking queue of people leading to an unemployment office published by the Conservatives. The advert, which featured members of Hendon Young Conservatives was denounced in parliament, but as the election drew nearer it was republished with the tagline “Labour still isn’t working”. It helped win Margaret Thatcher her first term.

The Tories Demon Eyes poster of Tony Blair is there, as is the more successful 1992 poster featuring Labour's tax bombshell. David Williamson also mentions some American adverts such as the 1964 US television ad for President Lyndon Johnson’s election campaign, which switched from a young girl counting off petals to a nuclear countdown and a mushroom cloud.

The advert ran only once but the condemnation it triggered ensured it had a multimillion-dollar publicity impact and ensured the defeat of Barry Goldwater. There is also the Bush Senior advert which painted his opponent, Michael Dukakis as soft on crime by featuring the mug-shot of Willie Horton, who committed crimes while on a furlough release programme in the state. It was accompanied with the claim the governor had “allowed murderers to have weekend passes”.

Of course the advert programme we are currently contending with are the very effective ones published by UKIP. Their  £1.5m advertising campaign for this month's euro-elections includes posters portraying citizens from other EU countries as a threat to British jobs. One features a giant finger pointing at the reader with the catch-line: “26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?” Another has the EU flag burning a hole in the union jack.

It goes to show that no matter how worthy one's policy platform is, if you do not have an effective, hard-hitting message then you will get nowhere.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?