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Brand Avoidance: Conservative Candidates Shy Away from Party Identity in Election Ads

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Election update: Conservative candidates shy away from party branding

A significant number of candidates are opting not to use the official party branding in their Facebook advertisements, according to recent analysis. For some, it's even difficult to discern at first glance which party they represent.

Authored by Tom Cheshire, Megan Harwood-Baynes, and Mary Poynter, from the online campaign group

Friday, June 14, 2024, 09:

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What is the current state of the Conservative reputation?

According to a study by Sky's Online Campaign Team and Who Targets Me, numerous candidates from the organization itself are steering clear of it.

We reviewed the advertisements posted on Facebook and Instagram by 521 Labour and Conservative candidates from May 1 to June 12.

Out of these, 376 advertisements featured complete official branding, including logos and colors, 104 displayed elements of branding, and 41 were devoid of any branding.

Most of the unbranded individuals, numbering 38, were from the Conservative party.

Out of the 80 Conservative candidates who employed limited branding, 59 of them, accounting for 73%, referenced their party solely in the mandatory funding disclosure. They omitted any reference to the party in the advert's main text or in the imagery, if the advert contained images (no videos were reviewed).

In the material provided above the advertisement, all 19 Labour candidates included a mention of their party, and this was also noted in the declaration of sponsorship.

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Associated Subjects:

Advertisements from the majority of Labour candidates prominently feature the party's branding.

For many Conservatives, it isn't immediately apparent that they subscribe to conservative values.

This group features notable individuals such as Johnny Mercer, the minister for veterans, Grant Shapps, the defence secretary, and Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the Conservative Party.

Digital advertisements provide measurable data that supports what many people are observing in real life as well.

Johnny Mercer omits any prominent Conservative symbols in his campaign materials. On the back page, the party is only referenced in a small font within parentheses as part of the required funding disclosure, a detail mandated by election law.

Andrea Jenkyns, who has been serving as a Conservative MP since her first election in 2015 and once held a ministerial role, certainly adopts a deep Conservative blue for her pamphlet.

However, the initial photo shows her alongside a completely different party leader – Nigel Farage.

It's a non-traditional approach.

Addressing the media on Friday morning, Treasury official Bim Afolami declined to comment on the matter.

"Each candidate is contesting their respective positions," he informed Sky News. "I won't make remarks about Andrea or any other individual; it's her decision how she chooses to connect with her voters."

It should be noted that most Conservative candidates are employing their party's branding.

However, a considerable number believe they are better off without it.

Or perhaps better off with Nigel Farage.

Stay ahead with the latest Breaking News

Download the Sky News application at no cost

Sky's Online Campaign Team conducted a review of the branding used in political advertisements from the major parties. Among the biggest spenders on ads, only 16 belonged to the Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Reform UK, or Sinn Fein. Each ad featured complete branding, with the exception of one partially branded advertisement from Michelle O'Neill, the vice president of Sinn Fein.

The Data and Forensic unit at Sky News comprises a team of versatile professionals committed to delivering clear and honest journalism. They collect, scrutinize, and present data to craft stories that are driven by factual information. By integrating classic reporting techniques with sophisticated examination of satellite imagery, social media, and various publicly accessible data, they engage in multimedia storytelling. Their goal is to enhance understanding of global events and provide insight into the journalistic process.

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