Tories lead rivals in ad effectiveness stakes

Leaders' debates: less important than marketing
Leaders' debates: less important than marketing

LONDON - The Conservative Party has achieved a higher level of consumer awareness of its marketing efforts than any of its political rivals, according to an exclusive Marketing poll.

When asked which party's marketing they had seen most, 48% of the 2000 people surveyed identified the Tories. The party's success in this area may be related to its £18m advertising war chest - the maximum allowed under election expenditure rules. It is a figure the other main parties have been unable to match.

The survey, carried out for Marketing in partnership with online market-research firm Toluna, found that 26% of
respondents cited Labour's marketing as the most-seen. The  figure for the Liberal Democrats was just 18%.

Since the start of the year the Conservatives have run a series of high-profile outdoor ads, although one execution relating to the NHS was widely lampooned online amid speculation that the picture of party leader David Cameron had been airbrushed.

Almost a third of respondents (31%) said the marketing they had seen had inf­luenced the way they intended to vote, while more than seven out of 10 (72%) said they had seen general-election marketing over the past month.

The survey also found that marketing held more sway than the leaders' debates. When asked whether the debates had a greater influence on their voting intentions than marketing, 47% of people said they did not, compared with 35% who said they did.

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