Although much government-sponsored advertising in Britain is traditionally put on ice during the run-up to a general election [widely predicted for June 7], by agreement with the opposing parties non-partisan campaigns – public service recruitment drives, for example – continue as normal.

However, Britain's main opposition party, the Conservatives, will this year dump precedent and demand the withdrawal of two multi-million pound advertising campaigns to recruit police and nurses on the grounds that both are politically sensitive.

The Conservatives have attacked the recent surge in government advertising – it is now the nation’s largest advertiser, outspending the likes of Unilever and Procter & Gamble [WAMN: 17-Apr-01], seeing the trend as a sinister attempt to brainwash the British electorate.

“Taxpayers will be appalled that they are being forced to stump up a propaganda stealth tax to pay for Tony Blair's re-election campaign,” thundered Conservative chairman Michael Ancram.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)