Cameron dumps Saatchis

Tories pick agency that devised anti-war poster
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The Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, has snubbed the Saatchi brothers, who have worked on the party's advertising campaigns for decades, by appointing an agency that designed a poster for the left-wing Stop the War Coalition.

Karmarama, which created the "Make Tea Not War" poster for an anti-Iraq war march in 2003, has been chosen to design what a Conservative Party spokeswoman said were a "number of innovative campaigning projects".

She did not say what they would be, but the agency could help devise a media strategy for the local elections next May. It is thought that the appointment of Karmarama is part of Mr Cameron's attempts to mould a more caring image for the Conservative Party.

A subsidiary of advertising agency M&C Saatchi handled the party's general election campaign last year, earning an estimated £8m. Co-founder Lord (Maurice) Saatchi, who resigned as Tory co-chairman after the election defeat, went on to criticise the campaign strategy.

M&C Saatchi's forerunner, Saatchi & Saatchi, came up with the famous "Labour isn't working" poster, showing a line of unemployed people and credited with helping to bring Margaret Thatcher to power in 1979.

In 1995, Sir Charles and Lord Saatchi left the firm to found M&C Saatchi, which in 1997 produced the much-criticised "Demon Eyes" poster, showing a sinister-looking Tony Blair. The Advertising Standards Authority ordered it to be withdrawn.

Before becoming an MP, Mr Cameron was a public relations adviser to the television company Carlton.

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