The Conservatives are set to work with senior M&C Saatchi figures on its election brief, as advertising agencies turn their backs on the Tory Party under David Cameron.
It is understood that WCRS and Karmarama, which already works for the party on a project basis, have spurned the Tory party to create an election campaign for Cameron.
Sources suggest that though M&C Saatchi is trying to create a distance between the advertising agency and the Conservatives, senior partners at the agency will start working informally for the party.
Tory loyalists at M&C Saatchi include partners Bill Muirhead, David Kershaw and Jeremy Sinclair, who came up with the iconic Blair “demon eyes” for the Conservatives and co-wrote Michael Howard’s “I Believe” ad when he became the Tory leader in 2003.
The failure to recruit an advertising agency is an echo of a similar snub in 1999 when the then Tory chairman Michael Ancram was reported to have sent letters to more than 20 advertising agencies asking them to pitch for its advertising business. The request was turned down by most agencies including WCRS founder Robin Wight, a long-term Tory loyalist who had been working informally for the party.
A statement from the Tory party head of brand communications Anna-Maren Ashford says: “We have not appointed a creative agency. We are, however, talking to a number of agencies. We also continue to work with Karmarama, with whom we have an established relationship.”
M&C Saatchi UK group chairman Moray MacLennan denies “the agency” has been appointed to handle the election brief for the Tory party.