It’s extremely rare for me to oppose a statement made on PB.com by Mike Smithson but his suggestion that the United Kingdom should have paid political adverts fills me with absolute dread. Why? Well, call it bitter experience but having an interest in elections that use the FPTP method of election, I have seen adverts for political candidates that would make your hair curl from that home of the brave and land of the free, the United States and having those over here would make election campaigns unbearable.
Political Adverts started in the United States at the 1952 presidential election Eisenhower created a series of twenty second election adverts that ended with the tagline “I Like Ike“. By 1960, television came to the fore of presidential elections with the first televised debate. Embracing this, Kennedy made a staggering 200 commericals during the campaign compared to just two for Nixon. But it was the 1964 electio where the power of political advertising really came to the fore with the famous / infamous (delete as per your political view)”Daisy Chain” advert (above)
That advert led the way towards the “attack ad” demonstrated by such classics as “Tank Ride” from the 1988 campaign (done by the Bush campaign against the Dukakis campaign) and most recently during the 2008 Democratic primary campaign with the Obama “It’s three o’clock” and I am worried that is how future campaigns in the UK may be run like that. We had a small taste of it in 1992 when the Conservatives ran their “Labour’s Tax bombshell” and the “Labour’s Double Whammy” and Labour countered with “Jennifer’s Ear”. That is not the sort of thing that I want to see on my television screens come election time. I want to see adverts that PROMOTE a view and not ATTACK another view.
My name is Harry Hayfield and I approve THIS message