Playing the party games

Following The Sun’s decision to support Labour, Claydon Heeley, the Conservative’s DM agency, proposed putting an insert into the paper offering free copies of The Times, “a real Tory paper”. But the Tories decided not to take the idea to News International – owner of both papers.

Labour planned an emergency flyposter campaign to attract the youth vote in major cities for the final week of the campaign if its lead was looking shaky. The posters, which could have broken local authority regulations, had a “Trainspotting” theme with unflattering skits featuring Messrs Major and Clarke.

Claydon Heeley prepared a leaflet called “The Big Fight” to encourage people to watch the proposed TV debate. The leaflet, in questionnaire form, asked viewers to award politicians marks out of ten for their performances in various areas. But the idea was rendered obsolete by the collapse of talks on holding the debate.

M&C Saatchi developed variations of the Helmut Kohl knee ad. They featured Blair on Peter Mandelson’s knee and in EU president Jacques Santer’s top pocket. Pro-European Tories put a stop to the campaign.

New Labour, New Haddock – Tony Blair will tell you anything you want to hear in order to secure your vote was the intended message. Ads designed for April 1 never saw the light of day.

Major’s penultimate Party Election Broadcast on Labour’s winter of discontent was dropped at the last minute. Instead he spoke to camera.


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