How disappointing to see that, as always, those agencies that are considered to operate above the line get all the credit in your survey of how the major political parties have used design to build their brands (News Analysis, DW 17 May). What about the foot soldiers, who work with often tight budgets and aggressive timetables, below the line?
Branding is key to any campaign – political or commercial – but as has been shown, not least by the many dotcom failures, advertising is not the best method for effectively developing an identity. It is increasingly recognised that this can be done better with consistent below-the-line activity, working in association with the above-the-line agencies.
Wrap, for example, has worked closely with the Conservative Party since 1999 to develop and publish Conservative Heartland, the party’s membership magazine, as well as contributing to the www.conservatives.com website. We also publish One Voice, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party’s magazine. We have been working alongside the direct marketing agency Archibald Ingall Stretton’s creatives, who have done sterling work developing awareness through direct mail pieces and other material.
Big Publishing has produced the Labour Party magazine Inside Labour and EC1 has put together a very creative CD-ROM to help Blair get Labour’s message across.
Many others have worked on behalf of all the parties to make each campaign as effective as possible. The Liberal Democrats no doubt have similar agencies whose trumpets should have been blown in your coverage.
On behalf of the below-the-line agencies: when you next do a comparative piece, please spare a thought for those who don’t work with headline-grabbing budgets like the advertising agencies, but whose work is at least equally important and effective for the clients in question.
You should speak to your masters at central office, as it is they who fail to reveal the names of designers working for them – Ed