The Boris campaign launched a series of posters this week. There are nine examples in the group and each feature a different pledge from the Mayor’s nine-part plan. At the bottom of each poster is a picture of Boris. Johnson has always presented himself as slightly dishevelled, which does separate him from his glossy Westminster cousins. In this respect his method is not unlike Harold Wilson whose Gannex wearing, pipe smoking, affability marked him out against the aristocratic Douglas- Home or the taciturn Ted Heath.
However, the new Boris posters take something from Labour’s 1997 campaign. Then the party famously handed out pledge cards to the electorate.
Benedict Pringle over at political advertisingis not a huge fan of the new Johnson posters; they are phenomenally uninspiring, dull even. But it is interesting to note that just as in 2010 when David Cameron sought to present himself politically and stylistically as Blair, Johnson is also borrowing techniques from that 1997 campaign.
Of course, Johnson and Cameron are very different characters. But Johnson’s pledges demonstrate another senior Conservative seemingly in thrall to the techniques of New Labour circa 1997.