Labour hunts members

The Labour Party is attempting to reverse its plummeting membership since the general election with a relaunched recruitment drive led by newly-hired direct marketing agency Brann London.

It is understood that the party is still in discussions with Brann, but that a formal appointment could be made by the end of this week. Both refused to comment.

The relaunch of Labour’s membership drive may include offering life membership – though this would entail changing the Party’s constitution, which stipulates membership should be renewed annually. Another plan is to offer joint family membership. Membership has reportedly dropped since the election, falling to under 390,000 from a high of 420,000.

Martin McEwan, Labour’s head of direct marketing, refuses to confirm Brann’s appointment, but says: “There are a number of specific tasks such as membership recruitment and fundraising. There are also specific projects coming up, such as the centenary next year.”

The search for a direct marketing agency began at the end of last year when Labour parted company with Evans Hunt Scott after a disagreement over strategy. Labour brought in Thomas Cook marketer Mike Emery to head a review of marketing.

It is understood that the search for the direct marketing agency was conducted with the help of Freud PR, the public relations company run by Matthew Freud. Brann is owned by American Dan Snyder, who recently acquired Partners BDDH, which has previously handled Labour advertising. It is unclear whether BMP DDB will continue to handle the above-the-line account.

The Conservative Party has recently appointed marketer Jane Keene as director of income generation and marketing. She will work with direct marketing agency Claydon Heeley International to build membership and raise funds for the party.

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