It’s hardly Gingrich on Romney but London mayor Boris Johnson comes under fire from ‘Red Ken’

Do they still call Ken Livingstone Red Ken? Well London mayor Boris johnson probably does.

And Tory Boris, who faces re-election this summer, is coming under fire from his opponent, former mayor Labour’s Ken Livingstone, who has recruited newly-formed BETC London to produce this ad, accusing Boris of picking Londoner’s pockets by putting up tube and bus fairs.

Boris supporters (there are still a few) would riposte that so did Livingstone, Ken’s chums would say that was to pay for more buses and better services generally.

As we note, it hardly registers on the Romney/Gingrich scale of political bile currently to be observed in the US Republican nomination race. But it might be fun if the ever-combative Johnson decides to fight back.

BETC London CEO Matthew Charlton says: “The simple truth is that Ken Livingstone cares about the cost of London Transport and Boris doesn’t, and this ad brings that to life. We hope it galvanizes support for Ken and reminds voters that he cares about the issues that affect our day-to-day lives.”

Paris-based BETC is owned by Havas of course, whose CEO David Jones advised coalition prime minister David Cameron, a Tory like Boris, on his (fairly) successful election campaign in 2010. But I’m sure Dave the adman doesn’t mind BETC supporting Ken (Dave the politician probably doesn’t either as, allegedly, he can’t stand Johnson).

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.