In early post-war general elections the production and distribution of printed literature was the main party publicity operation at national level. Since then, other activities have become more important. Nevertheless, the parties have continued to issue a wide variety of national leaflets, broadsheets, pamphlets, posters and stickers — and in quantities of millions for each election, on top of the even larger numbers produced locally. Most has been intended for mass distribution to unspecified audiences. This remains the case, but parties have also devoted increasing effort to using direct mail to target selected messages at specific sections of the electorate. (Posters have been covered in Chapter 2, since they have generally been used primarily as advertisements. One important exception which must be mentioned is the famous 1945 Labour poster that consisted of a huge ‘V’ dominating an idealised town and was captioned, ‘And now — win the peace.’ Designed by John Armstrong, it cleverly exploited the wartime ‘V for victory’ symbol and was a powerful evocation of Labour’s campaign message. It has become an icon of Labour history.)
KeywordsParty Leader Direct Mail Political Message Labour History Party Policy
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