We are now less than a month away from the most open general election in a decade. For most agency people, this is perhaps of little consequence – it might affect the price of a packet of cigarettes, limit the amount of cheap labour they can hire, or perhaps hit the board of directors in their pocket come bonus time. But for clients it is a big deal.
Most brands – at least publicly – will contest that they are apolitical, just in case ‘the other side’ get in and they are seen to be backing the wrong horse. My brand is no different, and I have spent the past few weeks putting out all company communiques asking employees to be very mindful about what they say publicly, and especially on their private social media feeds.
Part of the reason for this is that those political types are quite desperate to be seen as being on the side of business.
The number of requests we have had from the leaders of all political persuasions to visit one of our offices to ‘kiss babies’ as part of a photo opportunity have been quite remarkable.
However, the real concern brands face is not so much which side will get in – to be honest, these days, they are all pretty much the same, at least amongst the main parties. No, the real concern is the indecision and fog that some commentators predict will envelop the country in the aftermath of a stalemate – with political jockeying to form a fragile coalition that might fail at any juncture, leading to a second or even a third election in a matter of months.
This is what will spook the markets, damage growth and investment, and stop mega-marketing campaigns in their tracks.
And it is that which suddenly sparks the attention of marketers no matter what side of the divide they sit on – brands invest more in times of stability and growth; agencies get more work when brands feel confident and want to splash the cash.
So, whether you’re on the client or agency side, a weak government of compromise effects us all. For the sake of this great nation, which is well placed for expanding growth and investment (leading to bigger marketing budgets), we need the stability that comes from a strong government – of whichever colour or creed – so please cast your vote on 7 May and make it count.