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Lib Dem manifesto promises ban on pre-9pm junk food ads and limits to e-cig marketing

The Liberal Democrats’ election manifesto promises that the party will restrict the broadcast of “junk food” advertising before 9pm, complete the introduction of plain cigarette packaging, clamp down on e-cigarette advertising and “encourage the traffic light system” for food products, should the party gain power post-7 May.

NickCleggCompared with Labour’s and the Conservative’s manifestos, the Lib Dem document – which promises to give “heart to a Conservative” coalition and “brain to a Labour” one – goes into more detail regarding plans affecting marketers and brands, but covers similar ground in terms of healthy eating and smoking.

In the ‘Helping people keep healthy’ section, the Lib Dems said they would do more to promote healthy eating and exercise, including continuing the ‘5 A Day’ campaign.

Tory manifesto repeats commitment to plain cigarette packaging and healthy eating

The Conservative Party has used its manifesto to repeat its promise to forge ahead with plain cigarette packaging legislation, while promoting healthier eating among children and promoting “clear food information” are also high on its agenda. Like Labour’s manifesto, published yesterday, the Tories’ document is long on rhetoric and short on detail.

In a section on health, the Conservative manifesto said: “We are helping people to stay healthy by ending the open display of tobacco in shops, introducing plain-packaged cigarettes and funding local authority public health budgets.”camerondave

Despite a large number of Conservative MPs voting in March against the reform to tobacco packaging, the regulatory vote gained a ‘yes’ from the House of Commons, including from Prime Minister David Cameron.

Expanding on its commitment to health in today’s manifesto, the Tories added: “We will take action to reduce childhood obesity and continue to promote clear food information.”

The promises are slightly vaguer, but similar in tone to those made by Labour in its manifesto. Elsewhere, promises include supporting the creative industries – film, theatre, video games and orchestras, while a tax credit for children’s television would be introduced next year were the party to get into government post 7 May’s general election.

Could social media persuade young voters to get involved?

(Peter Kirkeskov Rasmussen/Flickr)

(Peter Kirkeskov Rasmussen/Flickr)

How do we encourage higher democratic participation amongst first-time voters who have a notoriously low turnout on Election day?

According to a report by the IPPR voters are becoming increasingly older and wealthier. The think tank said it is a rather serious issue because, “…governments are more likely to frame policies that appeal to groups who do vote, and neglect the interests of those who don’t, leading to greater political inequality.”

The IPPR added: “There is now clear evidence that younger voters who don’t vote are less likely than previous generations to develop the habit of voting as they move into middle age.”

How do we solve this issue?

The five stages of modern political campaigning

Ah, the good old days. When it was simply a case of whacking up the “Labour isn’t working” or “Demon Eyes” posters and letting the voters do the rest, writes Ben Stephens, executive chairman, Stack.

labour posterPolitical marketing has to work much harder in modern times. Marketing techniques have advanced to match voter behaviour and parties need to follow the new rules of political campaigning if they’re to galvanise voters.

While the 2010 General Election was dubbed by many as the first digital election, Facebook was still at a nascent stage so there’s a strong case for this year’s election being the first at which digital media, especially social channels, will play a key role in the political parties’ marketing efforts. You only have to look at recent coverage of the Conservative Party spending more than £1 million on Facebook to build “likes” to see that parties are taking digital channels seriously.

This is due, in part, to a situation where the election will be decided by a very small group of people in a very small number of marginal constituencies, providing a lift in the use of targeted digital and social media channels. However, we’re also set to witness a boom in more traditional marketing techniques as political parties look to captivate and galvanise voters.

Labour election manifesto promises curbs on unhealthy foods marketed to kids

Labour has used its election manifesto to insist that it will set limits on the amount of sugar, salt and fat in foods marketed to children should the party gain power in May’s general election, but the 85-page document omits earlier promises to target tobacco companies.

milliband1-20150413113415175The NHS section of the manifesto pledges that Labour “will set a new national ambition to improve the uptake of physical activity”, “take targeted action on those high strength, low cost alcohol products that fuel problem drinking” and “set maximum permitted levels of sugar, salt and fat in foods marketed substantially to children”.

Green Party goes down comedy song route – seriously?

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The new ‘Change the Tune’ video from the Green Party is fun but a little crass. Even if it does sound like a nice idea – lets portray the other parties as a boy band because their policies are so similar “it’s like they are in harmony”.

But what is the point, other than another mocking video? And there’s enough of those about at the moment, even if it is very well executed.

General Election 2015: The Winners And Losers In Online Video Advertising

green party election ad

For months, commentators have been predicting that May’s general election will be the UK’s first social media election.

While social media momentum famously bolstered campaigns like the Scottish National Party’s triumphant win in 2011 and Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential bid, the internet is taking on unprecedented importance as we near voting day, especially with the polls favouring a tight election.

Whether politicians like it or not, the battle for Number 10 is increasingly taking place on newsfeeds, timelines and social networks across the web.

Data is only part of the answer


Political parties have been relying on different forms of data to help obtain votes for decades.

Advisors and parties use a combination of polls and research groups to better understand and engage the public whilst reacting quickly to any story or event that they feel they have a say in.

Similarly, the role of data and how to use it was a prominent topic at this year’s Adweek. We were treated to a number of excitable speakers proudly talking about algorithms that can help identify consumers and exactly when and how to target them. Consequently though the importance of the creative idea seemed to slip down the pecking order somewhat.

Official Monster Raving Loony Party returns with 3 point lead on Labour.

“This may be the most boring election of all time”, are the controversial comments of OpinionNet’s head of consumer insight, Murray McKenzie, “Even Kermit the Frog got more votes in our recent poll.”

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David Cameron was quick to pick up McKenzie’s comments, made at a recent SMP event in the Edinburgh, and Tweeted “OpinionNet poll says more people would vote for the Muppets, maybe Ed Miliband does have a chance.”

Inspired by a surprise poll taken last week that revealed that ‘more people would be inclined to vote for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party than Labour or the Tories’, the party has decided to re-enter the political race fuelled by a big donation left by a recently departed animator & cartoonist.

What election campaigns could learn from brands

Conservative political poster: Labour isn't workingThink back to 1979: Labour hold the keys to number 10, and the Conservatives are desperate to get back in. All hope now rests on their rising star: Maurice Saatchi.

Saatchi & Saatchi’s ‘Labour isn’t Working’ campaign is probably the most recognisable of all political advertisements. The simple image of many people queuing up outside the unemployment office managed to convince an entire country to vote in one of the most famous prime ministers in British history. Lord Saatchi said at an event, decades after its success, that “if British Airways are the best airline in the world, what more do you need to say than ‘The Worlds Favourite Airline’? If Labour are the party of unemployment, what more do you need than people standing outside an unemployment office, with the slogan ‘Labour isn’t Working’?” Lord Thornycroft claims the poster won it for the Conservatives, and Campaign even voted it as the ‘Best Poster of the Century’.

Today, the general election is around the corner and each party is trying to win favour with ad campaigns which appear to follow the same general format – pointing out the flaws and failures of the opposing parties, shooting down their ideologies and even going as far as attacking individuals. But are these all-guns-blazing-with-some-airstrikes-thrown-in campaigns really effective now? Read more >