M&C Saatchi working on Tory ad campaign

The Conservatives have rekindled their relationship with M&C Saatchi, more than a decade after the ad agency last worked for the party in the runup to the 1997 general election with the Tony Blair “demon eyes” campaign.

David Kershaw, the M&C Saatchi chief executive, confirmed today that the agency was working on a Tory advertising campaign for the impending general election, as the firm reported a 27% fall in pre-tax profits to £10.3m in 2009.

M&C Saatchi’s co-founders, brothers Charles and Maurice Saatchi, have had a relationship with the Conservatives going back more than 30 years, having developed the “Labour Isn’t Working” slogan that helped carry Margaret Thatcher to victory in 1979 at their previous agency, Saatchi & Saatchi.M&C Saatchi was set up in 1995 by the brothers and other former Saatchi & Saatchi executives including Kershaw.

The agency itself has not worked with the party on an advertising campaign since the 1997 general election, although the Conservatives’ advertising account was handled by a subsidiary, the Immediate Sales Company, during the 2005 election.

M&C Saatchi’s controversial 1996 poster advertising campaign portraying Blair with red “demon eyes” won industry awards but drew criticism from the Advertising Standards Authority.

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