Lastminute.com chief to advise Lib Dems on London mayoral campaign

Lastminute.com marketer Vijay Solanki is advising the Liberal Democrats on their London mayoral election campaign.

Solanki, marketing director of lastminute.com, is helping the Lib Dem candidate Simon Hughes on a part-time basis. He is Hughes’ marketing and strategy adviser and chairman of the Lib Dem communications advisory team.

Solanki says that the Lib Dems will fight a “21st-century campaign” using the internet and guerrilla media “relevant to Londoners” to engage the public. The Lib Dems activities are constrained by the size of their campaign budget, which remains undisclosed, but Solanki says that the way to win the election is not through “48-sheet billboards”.

Solanki has appointed 2020 Promotions to work on the campaign after a five-way pitch. The company is developing viral campaigns, including a “Help Steven Norris not to go bankrupt” game. This refers to the Conservative mayoral candidate’s non-executive chairmanship of embattled rail contractor Jarvis.

Hughes launched his manifesto in an open-topped bus under the banner “London United” this week.

Solanki joined lastminute.com in August last year from the position of marketing director at mobile phone music recognition service Shazam. He is also a former Capital Radio and IPC marketer.

DDB London was recently appointed by COI Communications to create a &£1.5m advertising campaign to raise awareness of elections for London Mayor, the London Assembly and the European Parliament.

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