Labour, Political Marketing and the 2005 Election: A Campaign of Two Halves
Labour's 2005 election campaign was extensively underpinned by political marketing. This resulted in a campaign of unequal halves; generic and populist at national level; focused and individualised at local level. This article describes the text of Labour's campaign, and its response to its environment, focusing upon its image management strategies in response to the political and media environment within which it operated. This also included the Conservatives and an increasing overlap between politics and celebrity culture. This campaign saw a continuation and sophistication of marketing strategies and technologies, enabling parties to target individual, strategically important, voters. A specific personalised message was presented to 2% of the electorate, while a broad image was promoted to the rest of the populace. With an election focused on a targeted minority of the electorate, it is argued that far from being a force to enhance democracy, marketing at the 2005 election challenges the ideals upon which the democratic process of politics is premised.
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