Public Affairs: Soap Box - Charles Lewington, managing director, Hanover

Last week, the BFI and Hanover marked 75 years of party political broadcasts with a special screening of a film, taken from PPBs throughout the ages.

Afterwards, an expert panel and the invited audience from media, politics and business discussed whether PPBs converted floating voters, the influence of 'new media', the continued pre-eminence of TV and the pros and cons of negative campaigning.

Andrew Lansley suggested the most effective negative campaign was probably the 1992 Tory tax bombshell, while Michael Heseltine supported negative campaigning when it chimed with the public mood. He advised that a party should kick its opponent when he's down, and keep kicking. However, Danny Finkelstein warned against negative PPBs, arguing the public learned more about the party wielding the knife, and often didn't like what they learned.

When David Cameron became leader of the Conservatives, he said politicians should 'let sunshine win the day'. However, in these gloomier times, and anxious to drive home his advantage after 12 years of Labour, we must wait to see how optimistic the party's PPBs will be in the face of very negative campaigning from Labour, which has few other cards left to play.

- The film is available at hanovercomms.com.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.