01 November 1999

AMONG THE PROBLEMS besetting Opposition leader William Hague at the Conservative Party confer-ence last month, the resignation of the Tory direct marketing account by Claydon Heeley International was unlikely to have been top of the list. But it is equally unlikely that the news came as music to the ears of the beleaguered Hague, who is on record as regarding dm as the key to his pledge to double party membership to 700,000 before the next election. CHI director Leo Campbell, who ran the Tory account, confirmed the ending of the five year relationship - but remained zip-lipped as to the reasons, contenting himself with the cryptic comment: 'We no longer have the appetite to commit the necessary resources.' He diplomatically declined to say whether CHI was owed money - but given the party's credit record [it owed its erstwhile agency Saatchi & Saatchi £600,000 for nearly three years], Debrief offers no prizes for correct guesses as to what sparked the decision.