At some point most independent agencies of note have a decision to make: do we take on the Labour Party?
The Tories tend to cherry pick talent from the bigger networks these days although M&C Saatchi usually pops up in the driver’s seat. Post-Blair Labour though? Phew..is Jeremy Corbyn (below) electable? More to the point, is he too anti-business for the task to sit well with our clients?
The great Boase Massimi Pollitt didn’t seem to suffer from its long relationship with a similarly lefty Labour Party although that many not have been true of MD Chris Powell (of that dynasty, brothers Charles and Jonathan both sat in Downing Street, for Thatcher and Blair respectively) who handled the account. Trevor Beattie, in his various guises, did well from Blair.
Anyway, Corbyn’s Labour has appointed Krow as its retained agency, evidently of the view that an early General Election is a possibility as the UK government blunders towards Brexit.
Krow co-founder and CEO John Quarrey says: “We’re delighted to be consulting with The Labour Party on their on-going and future communications requirements.” Labour spent about £12m on advertising and other marketing in the last election although much good it did. Lucky Generals was the agency some of the time.
So what of Corbyn and Labour? Corbyn made quite a sensible speech to the CBI the other day and it’s more than likely that UK voters aren’t quite as horrified at the leader of what has always been socialist party speaking and acting like a socialist as the right wing media are.
Indeed, in comparison to the antics of the ‘three Brexiteers’ – Boris Johnson, David Davies and Liam Fox – Corbyn can look like a serious politician. Ms Serious herself, new Tory PM Teresa May, has cut a rather forlorn figure recently as she trudges around Europe with Germans, French and Italians being rude to her.
So Labour may not be due for the monstrous hiding everybody seems to expect. They’re the party of Brexit and even those many people outside london who voted for it will be increasingly pissed off by rising prices in the shops and more expensive foreign holidays. May may want to get an election out of the way before interest rates rise.
There’s hope for Krow then but two things are required. One is for Labour to allow them to get on with it (or at least some of it). The other is for the agency to produce some relevant, engaging communications. Not the “look how clever and funny we are” stuff that agencies insist on presenting to their understandably sceptical politician clients.