The Conservative Party has launched its biggest fundraising appeal to date – and its first to non-members, including potential Labour voters – in a direct mail campaign by through-the-line agency Claydon Heeley.
So far, 230,000 people have been sent a personally addressed letter from the party chairman Brian Mawhinney and a leaflet featuring the infamous “demon eyes”, which were originally superimposed on a photograph of a grinning Tony Blair in press ads through M&C Saatchi. The use of the Blair likeness in such a way was later banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.
The red eyes were used in further ads and party political broadcasts to try to undermine Blair.
For this campaign, Claydon Heeley built up profiles of people who had been past contributors to the Conservative Party. It then mailed people on non-political commercial lists who fitted the same criteria, based on such things as the sort of newspaper they read or car they drive. These days, this is just as likely to include potential Labour and Liberal Democrat voters as Conservatives.
Leo Campbell, a director of Claydon Heeley, says: “The Conservative Party has never done a fundraising mailing to non-members before. We are taking it out of its comfort zone. This is the biggest mailer for fundraising it has done.”
Claydon Heeley recently helped to organise a Christmas lottery for party members, which raised more than 700,000.