PR chiefs on the Stay/Leave campaigns...
"I think both campaigns are weak and flawed." Gill Morris, CEO, Connect Communications.
"It may seem that the campaign to leave the EU is shining stronger than the stay campaign, but that's a natural consequence of editorial appetite. Ahead of the referendum, I expect it to swing back the other way." Steve Earl, MD, Zeno Europe.
"I think the leave campaign has some very powerful populist messages which the stay campaign needs to counter better before polling day." Kevin Craig, MD, PLMR.
"The leave campaign is led by the anticipated rag bag of showmen wearing rose-tinted specs and could have been authored by Enid Blyton. The campaign to stay is global." Hamish Thompson, MD, Houston PR.
"On balance I'd say that the stay campaign is stronger but it is a bit of a roller coaster and the exit campaign has generated some really significant coverage, particularly fielding top political figures as spokespeople." Dotti Irving, CEO, Four Colman Getty.
"As with the Scottish referendum, it feels like it's easier to gain momentum quickly for a leave campaign. Boris's last minute announcement felt a bit like The Sun making a decision about which party to support on the eve of the election and the Leave camp have probably had the better of the early sparring." `Nick Clark, MD, Nelson Bostock Unlimited.
"Similar to the Scottish referendum it is always easier to campaign for change than maintain the status-quo. It's like an agency repitch - it's always harder for the incumbent. What has been very frustrating about the whole campaign to date is the lack of clear facts on both sides. No-one really knows what is going to happen post-referendum so it descends into point-scoring and self-interest." Louie St Claire, MD, Harvard.
"Leave has a strong advantage in that it can play on the emotional. Fear of immigration and impact on jobs and housing, anger with red tape. Stay relies on the rational which is much harder to win." Ralph Sutton, international managing partner, Axon Communications.
"Both have been disappointing. To truly engage people, like the song says, you've got to spread joy up to the maximum bring gloom down to the minimum - ‘accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and don't mess with mister in between’. Cameron's speech to parliament, outlining his beliefs, got closest to this and was probably his best ever." Alastair Turner, CEO, Aspectus.
"The stay campaign is coherent although as-yet uninspiring. Impressive campaign infrastructure, but hasn't shown it knows how to mobilise communities or engage voters through social, which is worrying." Nick Barron, MD, corporate reputation, Edelman.
Thoughts on whether the UK should stay or exit...
"If we leave, the long term damage to the City's international standing cannot be understated. As soon as decision makers involved in financial services decide they have to be on the continent it will leave an open wound that will never heal." John Waples, senior MD and UK head of strategic comms, FTI Consulting.
"It is complete madness to leave the EU. If we do we are all doomed!" Gill Morris, CEO, Connect Communications.
"I see myself as European. I encourage my kids to be European and unquestionably, our business in European - that we should isolate ourselves from other European nations is abhorrent in my mind. I'm in." Chris Hewitt, CEO, Berkeley PR.
"Having spent most of the last five years living in the UK, I really believe that it is in all our interests for the United Kingdom to be an enthusiastic card-carrying member of the European Union. We need Cool Britannia!" John Saunders, FleishmanHillard.
"Europe's political model simply doesn't work - you can't have currency unions in some bits but not in others, and free movement in most but not all." Anonymous (agency).
"The UK in general, and the PR market in particular, will both flourish whether we're in the EU or out." Alex Deane, MD strategic comms and head of public affairs UK, FTI Consulting.
"I am a real believer in Europe. I feel personally that a lot of the arguments for leaving are unsustainable. Short term pain would be substantial as we tried to rebuild infrastructure and mid to long term national protectionism just isn't a reality." Kirsty Leighton, MD, Hudson Sandler channels The Monkees.
"I have yet to hear a single argument for leaving that makes any sense at all." Richard Campbell, managing partner, CNC.
"The EU is undemocratic, bureaucratic, expensive, and meddlesome. But Britain is far better off for being a part of it than it would if it were on the outside looking in." Marshall Manson, UK CEO, Ogily PR isn't a fan but sees the upside of remaining.
"My mum always told me that one is judged by the company one keeps. Based on this, I'm planning on completely ignoring all arguments for and against and simply voting for the side which attracts the fewest xenophobes. As it stands, it's a clear vote for Team Remain." Joe Sinclair, co-founder, The Romans.
"We are better off being part of the decision making process on policies that will impact on the country regardless of whether we remain or leave." Dan Johnson, director of comms, Premier League.