Labour reviews direct account

LONDON - The Labour Party is looking for a direct agency following its annual conference in Manchester last week.

It has already approached several agencies about the brief, which is believed to include both on- and offline communications. The Labour Party refused to comment on the review.

According to Nielsen, Labour spent £1.3m on direct mail between January and May in the build up to the 2005 general election. The Conservatives spent £5.2m.

The UK's three dominant parties are all attempting to drive support ahead of the next general election, which must take place in 2010 at the latest, and next year's local elections.

The Conservative Party is also reviewing its direct account, and last week relaunched its website with its first official blog. The site, which is updated five times a day, offers visitors a range of behind-the-scenes videos.

It also features a campaigns area and a Facebook-style 'wall' where users can post videos.

Separately, the Liberal Democrats are under fire from the Information Commissioner's Officer after breaching privacy rules by making 250,000 calls to households featuring automated recorded messages from party leader Nick Clegg.

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