Thatcher’s Legacy: The Americanisation of British Politics?



Political marketing is now clearly woven into the fabric of British politics. It has been adopted by right and left of the spectrum, trade unions, pressure groups and charities. Thatcher’s Conservative Party led the way with the hiring of Saatchi & Saatchi in 1978 and the incorporation of marketing expertise at high levels of influence in the party organisation. By the late 1980s Labour had become the new marketing leaders, Peter Mandelson its driving force and the red rose its clearest symbol. Where once the Labour leaders had reacted with alarm and contumely to the ‘marketing of Margaret’, by the early 1990s the tables had turned. The Tories accused Labour of reducing politics to slick and phoney images, John Major renounced the image-makers and Harvey Thomas parted company with Conservative Central Office (CCO) complaining that the party was neglecting fundamentals of communications.


Direct Mail Marketing Concept Campaign Spending Electoral Credibility Political Advertising 
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Copyright information

© Margaret Scammell 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics and Communication StudiesUniversity of LiverpoolUK

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