Thursday, 29 April 2010

Is this the lamest poster of the election campaign?

It is widely agreed that the best Labour poster since Tony Blair left Number 10 was the Not Flash, Just Gordon billboard which appeared as Brown took over.

In four words it captured Brown’s strengths – solid, dependable, reliable – and the weaknesses of David Cameron – flash Harry, all style, spin and cringe worthy photo opportunities.

By contrast, the Labour party seems to have completely lost their way with their latest effort, above.

(The one saving grace being that presumably this ‘poster’ will not actually appear anywhere other than hacks’ inboxes)

The message is still a strong one, and putting bigotgate to one side, Brown is at his best when he avoids the spin and presentational tricks to just be himself. (Incidentally, this is not the same as the pre-prepared soundbites he keeps wheeling out on the TV debates about being rubbish at TV debates.)

But the new poster is truly rubbish. The choice of photos makes all three leaders look about equal - though not in size, obviously.

Why not use a picture of Brown giving a statesmanlike speech alongside Cameron on his bike and Clegg dunking hobnobs with Vince Cable?

According to the Labour press office: “The poster highlights David Cameron and Nick Clegg's lack of substance on the economy and the risk to the recovery the Conservatives' and Liberal Democrats' policies pose.”

Not sure it does any of that, actually.

Douglas Alexander, Labour's General Election coordinator said: "Tonight's debate will be an opportunity to demonstrate that a Conservative government would cut support from the economy and put the recovery at risk. Only Labour can plan for growth and secure the recovery."

Despite what Team Brown might say, there is a real need to be good at presentation, media management and marketing in 21st century politics, as the Gillian Duffy fiasco showed yesterday.

Frankly, far better for them to just concentrate on the substance of tonight’s economy debate and turn Photoshop off.

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