New Labour, New Danger
New Labour, New Danger was an advertising campaign run in the United Kingdom by the Conservative Party during the run-up to the 1997 UK general election. It was created by advertising agency M&C Saatchi and refers to the Labour Party's "New Labour" slogan.
The main poster used in the campaign involved a picture of Labour Party leader Tony Blair on a black background with a strip of the poster appearing to be torn off across the eyes of Blair. The eyes were replaced with a pair of "demon eyes" with the slogan "New Labour New Danger" positioned below the picture.
A later poster used the "demon eyes" on a purse and accompanied it with the slogan "New Labour, New Taxes".
The advert was praised by Campaign, who judged it had completed its objective of questioning Blair's character. The advertisement was claimed to have gained the Conservatives £5 million worth of free publicity. The advert also was recognised as the "best ad of the year".
The advert was condemned by the Labour Party as negative advertising. Former Conservative Prime Minister, Edward Heath also criticized the advert. The Advertising Standards Authority received 150 complaints about the Blair advert, including one from the Bishop of Oxford. The ASA upheld the complaints and instructed the Conservatives to withdraw the poster, stating they believed it portrayed Blair as "dishonest and sinister" and also because the campaign didn't have Blair's permission to use his image. The advert then led to the ASA changing their codes of practice to exclude political advertising from censure.
Despite the campaign being considered successful in achieving some of its aims, the Conservatives lost the election. In 2012, it was announced that the "demon eyes" design would be used in the American film The Campaign. The Labour Party's workers founded an amateur football team called Demon Eyes F.C. named after the adverts. The football team once won Thames League Division 1 before being disbanded.
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