The UK’s three major British political parties – Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – between them spent almost &£10m on advertising during the 2001 General Election, according to figures released by the Electoral Commission. The Labour Party spent &£5.02m on advertising during the election, 45.9 per cent of its entire campaign spending for last year. Labour launched a hard-hitting campaign, created by TBWA/London, portraying William Hague and Michael Portillo as “Mr Boom and Mr Bust.” The ads, which resembled film posters, appeared at 1,000 sites.
The Conservatives spent &£4.41m, representing 34.58 per cent of their total party expenditure. The party split with Yellow M last June, following Labour’s second successive landslide victory. The ads contrasted Labour and Conservative policies on taxation. The campaign used the headlines: “Are you one of Labour’s targets?” and “Not all parties are the same”.
The Liberal Democrats spent considerably less than the other two political parties. They spent only &£200,000, 14.45 per cent of their total expenditure on advertising last year.
Banc created the Liberal Democrats’ campaign, which included a series of executions with the tagline: “You paid the tax” and attacked Labour’s performance on NHS waiting lists, teacher and police recruitment, and trains.