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Ramshackle PR fiasco

Written By: - Date published: 1:35 pm, October 23rd, 2008 - 27 comments
Categories: dpf, election 2008 - Tags:

It seems DPF, Cameron Slater and John Ansell have pooled their collective genius and come up with a new campaign. Apparently they had some money left over from their earlier ramshackle PR fiasco so they’re putting up more anti-Labour billboards as the Free Speech Coalition:

I have some advice for them:

1. Pick an issue that is current, not two months late.

2. Make your message clear rather than speaking in code to the already converted.

3. Follow the lead of National and ACT and get rid of John Ansell.

4. Make sure you time your run early enough that your ads don’t get lost in the last two weeks (which is when all the focus is on National and Labour and even the smaller parties are struggling to get cut-through.)

5. Waitemata Trust.

Apart from getting all that wrong and their billboard being a bit stupid the boys are doing fine. Well, almost fine.

According to Dean Knight they are in breach of the implied rules of their own trust, which state:

‘Q. What do you plan to do with any donations
A. We want to spend it all on an advertising campaign informing New Zealanders of the details of the Electoral Finance Bill, and what effect it will have on them if passed.’

‘Q. What will happen to any funds left over, if the Bill is defeated?

A The ultimate beneficiary of any surplus funds is the Commonwealth Press Union.’

So DPF and Slater are dipping into their trust’s funds for a personal project? Oh, the irony.

27 comments on “Ramshackle PR fiasco”

  1. First Lockwood and now this??? Is anyone in the blue camp even a wee bit competent???

    [lprent: Is that question? The short answer IMO is “only occasionally”]

  2. r0b 2

    have pooled their collective genius

    More of a puddle than a pool.

  3. randal 3

    Man they are just creeps!

  4. John Stevens 4

    Getting under your skin chappies?
    Have a laugh, you are too serious guys.

  5. bobo 5

    John Ansell was on media7 last night seemed quite chummy with Bob Harvey on the show who wanted him to do labour ads.

  6. vidiot 6

    Ahhh now that is funnier than that CTU video.

  7. Trust me, Stevens, we’re having a laugh!

  8. deemac 9

    what berks! they may have shot themselves in the foot for the last time

  9. Dear oh dear, breaching their own Deed of Trust in a billboard about trusts. Farrar’s reverse midas touch strikes again eh?

    Can’t wait to see their updated list of donors, which I’m sure they’ll be putting out before the election in the interests of transparency.

  10. burt 11

    A call for transparency from supporters of the Govt that relied on Winston Peters and his secret big business backers and policies that benefit them directly… Ha ha ha.

  11. Lew 12

    I don’t see how the deed of trust has been breached. The trust’s purpose is to repeal the EFA. To achieve that end they’ve decided they need to get a National-led government elected, and they’ve identified what they think is the best strategy to do so, and spent the funds in service of that. If the EFA had already been repealed and yet they’d spent this money on electioneering, that would be a breach, but it ain’t so.

    I agree with criticisms 1-4, though, Irish

    L

  12. Rex Widerstrom 13

    1. Pick an issue that is current, not two months late.

    Oh, I missed the bit where Winston said “sorry, I’ll never tell another porky and, by the way, I won’t exact a disproportionate price for supporting Labour ever again”. It’s never too late to talk about integrity, IrishBill, particularly the integrity of a hypocrite.

    2. Make your message clear rather than speaking in code to the already converted.

    Partly agree with you… it’s slightly obtuse but I reckon the majority of people see Winston’s face and associate it with dishonesty, so coupling him with Clark (if you’ll excuse the mental image that conjures) is effective.

    3. Follow the lead of National and ACT and get rid of John Ansell.

    In sport, when a team specifically targets an individual opponent, watchers assume it’s a tactical move to try to hamstring a player who represents a real threat. Again, as with Crosby Textor, I think you protest too much.

    4. Make sure you time your run early enough that your ads don’t get lost in the last two weeks (which is when all the focus is on National and Labour and even the smaller parties are struggling to get cut-through.)

    Agree with you. Leaving it this late is a tactical mis-step, though it may be that the budget only allows for two weeks, and they figured the two weeks closest to the polls were best.

    5. Waitemata Trust.

    *sigh* I think the maxim about two wrongs not making a right has been fairly well established.

    What I cannot understand is why Clark doesn’t match Key’s gambit and say that Labour won’t work with NZF either. What, then, would be the point of anyone voting for Winston? The bulk of his support would (however reluctantly) flow to other parties (including a surprising number to Labour – because in my experience a lot of NZF support is in fact cloth cap Labour traditionalists who’re just unhappy with the social rather than economic pliciesof Labour) and we’d be rid of the NZF canker on the backside of politics.

  13. PaulL 14

    Trying a little too hard here guys? Particularly with that “reverse midas touch” meme. I guess that’ll be why Kiwiblog is the number 1 NZ political blog – the reverse midas touch? Sorry, sounds more like envy on your part to me.

    IrishBill: Who is the second highest ranked after one year? And still growing?

  14. IrishBill 15

    Rex, I think you are too close to the whole situation to make a sound call on how this advertising will be consumed.

    To answer your comments:

    1. The Winston stuff was never a big story outside of the beltway and is now past history.

    2. The “s” in “It’s about trusts” will baffle the 99.9% of people who haven’t followed the Winston debacle closely or have forgotten it.

    3. Ansell is a fool. He has struck it lucky a couple of times and he has a good blog but he consistently makes the mistake of point 2.

    5. It has nothing to do with two wrongs making a right (or any other trite aphorism). It’s about making sure you don’t expose your own weakness with your attack.

  15. Matthew Pilott 16

    “It’s about trust’s’

    God Irish, I thought the billboard might have had a misplaced apostrophe to go with National’s Fewer Bureaucracy. What an anti-climax.

    IrishBill: Sorry, fixed.

  16. zANavAShi 17

    Effing ‘ell, is there nobody on the right who has photoshop forgery skills above the level of a four year old? It coulda been funny if it didn’t hurt my eyes so much to see such poor mastery of pixels. The only thing this image does justice is to accurately reflect of the emotional age of the campaigners (((sigh)))

  17. higherstandard 18

    This thread only proves that political satire is only funny if it’s about the side you dislike – unless of course you belong to the majority that think that all politicians are twats.

  18. Ratbiter 19

    This election is about flakey crusts.

    Where Farrar eats pies, we eat pies.

  19. Linda Axford 20

    “Where Farrar eats pies, we eat pies.”

    …or rather chocolate plates, sorry I just can’t stop sniggering over that one…

    http://jtc.blogs.com/just_left/2008/02/wrap-your-laugh.html

    aladin

  20. martin english 21

    1. Pick an issue that is current, not two months late.

    I spoke to my brother in law last week. His favourite hobbies are drinking smoking and watching rugby, and he really doesn’t know who to vote for. He thinks a vote for Labour will ruin the country. He thinks a vote for National will ruin his KiwiSaver. He thinks Mr Peters is a liar, but doesn’t care – after all, once all the old people die, the NZ1st vote will collapse.
    Please note –> his words, not mine !!

    2. Make your message clear rather than speaking in code to the already converted.

    As implied above, my brother-in-law considers politics an intrusion in to his normal day to day life. But even he has made up his mind about the reliability of Miss Clark, Mr Peters, and Mr Glenn.

    3. Follow the lead of National and ACT and get rid of John Ansell.

    4. Make sure you time your run early enough that your ads don’t get lost in the last two weeks (which is when all the focus is on National and Labour and even the smaller parties are struggling to get cut-through.)

    Most swinging voters (and really, thats all you can direct your advertising at… everyone else is pretty much rusted in place) haven’t decided who they’re voting for when they wake up on Polling day.

    5. Waitemata Trust.

    By all means, use your own guidelines to decide if the Waitemata Trust was illegal and / or unethical. However, by comparison, the Spencer Trust was and is a much more outrageous breach whatever those guidelines are.

    PS thanks for the edit feature 🙂

    [lprent: It works most of the time. Unless, sometimes on some machines, when you’re using Safari on a Mac. For some reason some people have a problem with that. I don’t, but it is one my list of things to play with after the left wins the election]

  21. Pascal's bookie 22

    By all means, use your own guidelines to decide if the Waitemata Trust was illegal and / or unethical. However, by comparison, the Spencer Trust was and is a much more outrageous breach whatever those guidelines are.

    Quantity of money involved. “No Brash, No Cash.” ( That alleged deal, whereby Don went vote hunting in caucus, using the promise of donations to the party if he could roll English as bait, relied on Don knowing the identity of the donors to the supposedly blind trust.)

    Please note that this is not a defence of the spencer trust.

  22. Rex Widerstrom 23

    IrishBill: I accept your critique that my involvement in the issue could be clouding my judgment. But I do think it’s overly optimistic to think Winston’s dishonesty is a “beltway issue” that’s long since forgotten. I think it more likely that the politically unaware will have taken from it pretty much what the possibly apocryphal brother-in-law referenced by Martin English above.

    Namely Winston did something dodgy (but basically not illegal) with money given to him by some rich old geezers, made a twat of himself by lying about it, got caught, and instead of owning up dug a deeper hole for himself to the point where the consensus is he’s now a dishonest plonker.

    Where I accept I may be wrong is the success or otherwise of the billboards in linking that negative to Clark, though again I suspect many a casual observer will – as I’ve expressed above – be wondering “why the hell didn’t she just kick him to the kerb?”.

    Then it becomes a matter of opinion whether that puzzlement will colour their thinking about Labour once in the ballot box. Personally I think the posterboys are being optimistic – the back pocket (or the last thing the missus said before they left the house, or the fact thet didn’t like the way John Key parted his hair on telly the night before) will prevail as usual.

    Hmmm… captcha is stepping up its prescience level as the election approaches. “grasping promises”. Spooky.

  23. IrishBill 24

    I’m certainly not being optimistic about Peters, Rex. I have no desire whatsoever to see that old bastard back in the house. I just don’t think more than 95% of the population feel the same way and I’m not sure a particularly large number of voters even care.

    Short of coughing up a few tens of thousands of dollars to focus group test and poll this proposition I suspect we may simply have to agree to disagree until the 8th settles the discussion once and for all.

  24. Trevor Albert 25

    Um. Who owns that image?

  25. Observer 26

    Some thoughts

    1. Pick an issue that is current, not two months late.

    As I see a “trust” ad from Labour at least once, and more usually six, times per day, I think this is current. The play on “trusts” is appropriate as it brings back to mind, and so makes ‘current’ the Spencer Trust issue as well as the fact that, Natinal having said they will not work with NZ First, reinforces the fact that a vote for the NZ1st party is a vote for a Labour led coalition if a coalition is required after the election.

    2. Make your message clear rather than speaking in code to the already converted.

    See above. I think there are several clear messages – but I’m neither politician nor advertising professional, so might not ‘get it’.

    3. Follow the lead of National and ACT and get rid of John Ansell.

    WHo?

    4. Make sure you time your run early enough that your ads don’t get lost in the last two weeks (which is when all the focus is on National and Labour and even the smaller parties are struggling to get cut-through.)

    AS the ‘undecided vote’ (mine) makes its decision at the end of the campaign rather than the beginning (allowing all parties to make their full pitch), any attempt at influence is more valuable towards the end when it demands mind-share, rather than at the beginning when it can be forgotten in the miras.

    5. Waitemata Trust.
    What?
    In god I trust, all others pay cash!

  26. martin english 27

    BTW, the brother-in-law is real – Lives in Auckland, but I couldn’t tell you the electorate. From his perspective the kiwisaver issue is probably more important as he’s 61.

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