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Is negative campaigning the way forward for the Conservative party?

As we approach the run-in to the general election the Conservative party has announced a significant change in its advertising policy and a number of new posters will be unveiled across the UK today. The appointment of the Saatchi advertising agency as "second fiddle" to Euro RSCG has surprised many so close to the election and the implementation of a negative campaign would appear to be a high risk move by David Cameron.

However, Lord Saatchi and many others in the public relations industry believe that negative campaigning has been very lucrative for the Conservative party in the past, with the infamous "Labour isn't working" poster going down as one of the best calls ever in the PR industry. The problem is that the Conservative party has been unable to get policies across to the public although it has latched onto the idea that Gordon Brown could be the man to bring the election to the Conservative party.

It is evident that Labour Party leaflets and posters make little or no mention of Gordon Brown with focus groups suggesting that he may be a negative for Labour Party voters. Whether the Conservative party will be able to make this pay in the short to medium term remains to be seen because negative campaigning can and has proved very difficult to control in the past.

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