We are joining the ranks of Lib demmers looking at the new ads being run by party HQ and saying er, No.
The most recent ad looks, as Digital Politco puts it, like “someone photoshopped it when they were bored for 5 minutes”.
We really thought we heard Nick tell us last week that were the party of the centre ground. Yet here we are, but a few days later, shouting a leftwing banker bashing message for all we are worth. We are not even sure that it is that easy to recognise Ed Miliband beneath that
powered wig hat and ears. (And we are sure he reminds us of some character from a BBC period drama but can’t quite put our finger on it.)
And though you might think us picky we are not even sure you can count a poodle (if that is indeed what it is supposed to be) as a lapdog, surely it has to be a minature poodle to be a lapdog? All in all a pretty lame effort.
It also curiously, seems to have little to do with the ad van running around Labour conference right now (photo from Liberal England blog spot). Well Ok , its bashing Labour, its from the Lib Dems and it has the fairertax website url on it.. but really does that constitute a coordinated campaign?
Its best been described by a former LV blogger with a flare for hitting the nail on the head :
“It’s a Focus leaflet graphic on a billboard, with no clear or memorable message, targeting a group unlikely to switch to the Liberal Democrats and saying nothing of any interest to other groups, with the possible exception of tax geeks who like bar charts” .
(We are also not entirely sure that the numbers are correct – though we hope we can at least rely on Campaigns to get that bit right , so we bow to their expertise on this one.)
So what is going on? Last week at conference Jeremy Browne articulated what many of us who have worked in marketing or communications have been saying for a while – we should not define ourselves by the Conservatives or Labour, but define ourselves in our own terms. – as liberals Sadly that message seems not to have reached whoever is in charge of our media strategy.
We are not entirely convinced that an ad van, presumably targeting the (most hardened of) Labour activists attending conference is necessarily a good spend of our cash. Unless of course it is a cunning plan to excite conference attendees to push Labour further to the left in bid to squeeze out a bit of space in that fabled “centre ground”.
Either way with precious little money to spend, the party needs to get much better at these “attack” ads or, better still, abandon ya boo politics, pull our finger out and get the growth going. When we see some real green shoots we will have something to shout about, until then we are probably best saying nothing – especially if this is the best we can come up with. Unfortunately in the interests of “fairness” we have a nasty feeling that we might just see something equally cringe-making ad “sticking it to the Tories” at Conservative conference next week. More humiliation. Oh joy.