Labour spoofers hit latest Tory campaign

The Tories can not stop shooting themselves in foot. The website “airbrushed for change” is back again with more online spoofs as the Tories launch their latest marketing campaign, which attempts to portray voters who are switching allegiance.

It was a classic gift to bloggers and Labour supporters online. The posters use the tagline “I’ve never voted Tory before…”, which has quickly been changed to “I’ve never voted Tory before because…”. Oh where do you begin.

It’s the second own goal in a row for the Tory marketing team who have already removed David Cameron’s image from billboard posters. That happened after he was outted for having his image airbrushed in its previous campaign that opened the party up to (more) ridicule. It allowed Clifford Singer at to come up with “airbrushed for change” which has been endlessly entertaining. Unfortunately for the Tories the airbrushing motif tied in nicely with several stories that emerged since that campaign that saw the Tories accused of airbrushing crime and teen pregnancy figures. Ouch.

Where do you begin? So many reasons. I’ve never voted Tory before because…


  • Jeremy Lee

    I voted Labour once. It was in 1997. And look what’s happened to the country since then. I feel like crying.. if only I could find someone to film it. Never again.

  • Stephen P

    Labour must be running out of anything credible to say or come up with anything original/new besides spoofing yet more Conservative ads…stop it…the comical effect has gone now…

  • A Different Hat

    Whether Labour or Tory, the party’s over for Career Politicians. There’s a strong case for more cross-bench Independent MPs:

  • Gordon Macmillan

    ROFL – very funny Jeremy. Comedy genius.

  • Jeremy Lee

    Cheers. I must agree with your assessment that Labour’s use of social media is exemplary. Labour Whip David Wright describing Tories as ‘scum-sucking pigs’ on his Twitter account is brilliant and funny and clever. LMFAO. Oh no, I meant WAC.

  • Gordon Macmillan

    Agreed name calling is not smart or funny. And besides the imagery i don’t understand the concept of pig sucking. Which is good.

  • Neil Hopkins

    Online spoofers are doing a great job of raising awareness of the Tory campaign… Hadn’t heard about it until today but now can’t escape it. While I agree and think their efforts are great, they are actually doing the Tory’s job for them…

    Furthermore, there is the theory of cognitive dissonance which, perhaps, the Tory marketeers are playing into?
    With the ads being spoofed, contradictory ideas could be coming into play with a certain percentage of the audience, which will require them to argue around (in their own minds) to the original point of the communication – i.e. support for the Tories.

    Is this a good thing? Is it what the spoofers intended? More concerningly, is it what the Tory marketeers intended in the first place?
    More to the point – all of this publicity leads to a greater opportunity for the Tories to discuss their strategies.
    If I was their PR bod, I’d be looking for any opportunity to retort to these spoofs by getting on the news channels saying “This is actually what we’re talking about / looking at doing / proposing, and the spoofers have entirely missed the point.”
    It’s a right to reply issue which the Tories should be taking, if their media machine is capable enough.

    BTW love the spoofs and wouldn’t vote Tory anyway. Just can’t decide if their marketing is stupidity personified or genius…

  • James Walters

    Great point mate regarding the theory of cognitive dissonance. Fascinating stuff. I just don’t think that they are that smart. Maybe they are. Whatever the case it is certainly creating a really engaging online battle.

  • Neil Hopkins

    Do you mean a battle between the parties, or between the parties and the spoofers?

    What’s needed is for one party to somehow gain “control” over the spoof machine and reharness it for their own ends…

    Will be an interesting one to watch develop…

  • James Walters

    I meant a battle between the parties – but the spoofers fight it by proxy. Sort of digital foot soldiers. Nice work in Labour’s case considering doesn’t have the Lord Ashcroft millions to call on.

    I’m not sure about reharnessing. It has to be done by the community otherwise i think it becomes devalued.

  • Neil Hopkins

    But then don’t the parties become bystanders in their own fight?

    (not being antagonistic, just interested in a good old fashioned debate – don’t have enough of them!!)

  • Gordon Macmillan

    @James I think that Labour has already shown you can successful adopt material created by your supporters and it should do that. it did it by releasing its own spoof of the airbrushed Cameron poster. So it absolutely should harness what people are doing.

    So Neil I think you have a point, but you have to be careful that it doesn’t backfire as it did for labour trying to get involved in the ‘We love the NHS’ which was a bi-partisan campaign.

  • Neil Hopkins

    @Gordon: very true! Needs some real skill to be able to effectively harness this sort of thing and not be left with egg on your face. Will be interesting to see how it develops from hereonin…