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Title: The impact of marketing and public relations on modern British politics : the Conservative Party and government under Mrs Thatcher.
Author: Scammell, Margaret.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1991
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This thesis examines marketing and public relations techniques in British politics, focusing on the Conservative Party from the election of Mrs Thatcher as Leader and on the government under her premiership. A review of the history of political marketing in Britain - and its impact - shows that the practices of image-building and agenda management are by no means an innovation of the 1970s. The public relations activities of the 1945-5 1 Labour Government bear interesting similarities to those of the post-1979 Conservative ones. The three substantive contributions of the research are: studies of the 1987 general election; government publicity since 1979; and finally an evaluation of the success of the marketing of parties and leaders in the Thatcher period. The 1987 case study surveys and evaluates political marketing, paying particular attention to the role and input of marketing consultants in the preparation and conduct of the campaign. This includes an assessment of the Conservative targeting of 'critical constituencies'. Sources used are private party documents, interviews with politicians, campaign managers and public relations advisers, observation of party press conferences and opinion polls. The evaluation of governmental publicity concentrates on two controversial areas: advertising in support of social and economic policy; and the role of Mrs Thatcher's Press Secretary, (Sir) Bernard Ingham, especially his relationship with the Parliamentary Lobby and his alleged management of news. The material used includes a detailed analysis of advertising expenditure data (MEAL) over a 20-year period and unpublished evidence to the Lobby enquiries. Finally, the third original discussion attempts to assess the success or otherwise of marketing in influencing voters based upon secondary analysis of opinion poll data.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science Political science Public administration