Marketers cautious on manifesto promises

Marketers have called on the two main political parties to be bolder in their plans to boost the economy and the industry at large.

Both Labour and the Conservatives unveiled their general election manifestos this week ahead of 6 May, including plans to stimulate the economy.

Labour has positioned itself as the party to secure the economic recovery. It has promised not to raise income tax or to extend VAT to products such as food and children’s clothes as well as a commitment to more than halve the deficit by 2014.

Conservative Party plans include a vow to stop the bulk of Labour’s planned 1% rise in National Insurance and cut the headline rate of corporation tax.

Hamish Pringle, director general of the IPA, says he wants the two parties to reflect its vision for a “marketing approach to UK PLC’s future”, adding: “We need a realistic, pragmatic and concerted approach to our economic future conceived in the context of our competitors globally.”

James Murphy, founding partner of Adam & Eve, says the manifestos “make little effort to provide new hope or positivity” for the marketing industry, adding: “Businesses will be asking a lot more tough questions of both parties.”

The Conservative Party has also restated its commitment to crack down on irresponsible marketing to children by banning peer-to-peer marketing techniques targeting children and excluding agencies found in “serious breach” of rules governing marketing to children from bidding for government contracts for three years.

Labour has matched the Tory pledge to develop a website for parents to complain about “sexualised” products aimed at children.

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