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TOM BLACKETT group deputy chairman of Interbrand branding consultancy - clients include Waterstone's and British Airways:

"I'm not sure what sort of agency would take that brief on. If it was me, I'd think, 'Blimey, where do I start?' I'm a Conservative but I don't believe what they espouse at the moment. It's not a particularly appetising product to market. It would take 10 years to get them back into government. They can forget about it for the next election. They need political advisers much more than an advertising agency. Any change of identity has to come through their policies and a charismatic leader."


"To create an image, you have to have a message. Then the message is your image. They've got to identify the real concerns of the public as opposed to playing party politics. And they've got to tap into something that people feel desperate about. If Labour promises - like the NHS - aren't being seen to be kept, they've got to go for the Achilles' heel. Then the PR campaigns should be around those issues - not what William Hague wears or what he polishes his head with."

TIM HEARN Joint creative director, St Luke's Communications-- worked on Labour's 'New Deal' two years ago:

"They've got to do a huge image job on William Hague. He's a non-person. What Labour has shown is that the cult of personality is almost more important than policies. It's vital for the Conservatives to get a new leader. Until they sort out the personality leading the party, they won't get their policies heard."

PETER YORK style commentator:

"They've got to change the product first. It would be stupid to re-brand themselves until they do that - no self-respecting advertising company would take the job on. Gone are the days when political advertising was a great asset. Labour have proved that it's much too obvious to go for straightforward advertising."