Monday, 25 July 2022


In Britain we’re in the midst of a marketing battle. This is what the current Tory shoot-out is. If I were advising either candidate I’d be advising a no-holds-barred, go for the jugular approach. Winner takes all. The loser is probably finished as a politician so there’s nothing to lose.

Insurgent Liz Truss Vows To Abide By Controversial Ulster Law Despite EU  Legal Threats Nixolympia News

Currently Brand Truss (the only potential PM to have the same name as a medical implement) has a significant lead in the polls offering a package of tax cuts and optimism that would even make her erstwhile boosterish boss blush (only he never does that). She wants us to be the “Aspiration Nation”. She belongs to that school of thinking like advertising agency, Saatchi’s, “nothing is impossible.” It’s obviously a seductive proposition  originating from the“I’m going to be King of the World” aspirations of a Boris Johnson. 

Growth Stock Illustrations – 927,493 Growth Stock Illustrations, Vectors &  Clipart - Dreamstime

Brand Truss is a marketeer’s delight. Big budget confidence. A desire to break the mould. To grow. Here’s a quote she might like from Keller Williams, the American realty company coined:

“When you go from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset a new world of possibilities opens up.” 

But growth is not easy, not in the current world with war in Ukraine, global recession and a series of problems closer to home in Scotland, France and Italy. Since 1961 we’ve achieved ‘real’ growth, namely over 5% in only 5 years and we’ve had negative growth in 8 years. The Truss manifesto reminds me of Anthony Barber’s in 1972, when he was Chancellor of Exchequer in the Heath government. Barber initiated a 'dash for growth', a hugely ambitious budgetary policy aimed to deliver 10% growth over two years pushing  both the fiscal and monetary pedals to the floor in a confident and focused attempt to detonate growth. 

It failed.

Brand Sunak  is a teller of truth. The Doctor who says sympathetically but firmly “I’m afraid you haven’t got long”. 

Rishi Sunak is in his most difficult period as chancellor - and it could be  about to get worse | Politics News | Sky News

He quietly ridicules the fairy story of growth in a world where expert voices would prefer to see us stabilise and reduce debt. But his is not a great marketing story. He sat at Boris’ right hand and his legacy from his boss has been contempt and a damning reference (“do not hire this man”.) Rishi is a marketeer’s nightmare. “Sales are down. The budget’s reduced. I don’t want anything too creative.” 

And he isn’t very visible yet. “Let my record speak itself” doesn’t play well when that record is to have been number two (however reluctantly) to a bloke called Boris who’s now stabbing him in the back of his very tight suit.

Still nearly all the smartest people think he’s clever, thoughtful, an excellent leader and a very hard worker. If I were advising him I’d say become a daily good-news story visiting farms, schools, businesses, petrol stations, hospitals, care homes creating stories about how caring and well prepared he is, never getting caught out on what the prices of a pint of milk or a loaf of Hovis are*.

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And every day say “Liz is a nice person for sure but her economic plans are wrong and will make our economy worse.”

His comms advisors have to be pumping stories about Anthony Barber and Liz Truss. Non-stop simple messaging that makes the “Sunak right. Truss wrong” rubric unmissable.

At present he’s invisible. Staying like that he’ll lose badly.

Meanwhile Boris uncta porcus+ is lying in wait. He’d probably beat either contestant now if he could stand and MPs are already beginning to ask  “what have we done?”

Animal Rights Protest Scrapped After Group Learns 'Greased Pig' Event Has  No Pigs – CBS Sacramento


*80p and £1.15

+ Boris the greased pig                                                                              

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