Tories revive 'demon eyes'

Party ignores criticisms and switches poster campaign from Blair to taxes

The Conservative Party is to revive the "demon eyes" theme for a new advertising campaign, despite last week's condemnation by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The eyes will be featured on posters for the first time this week, staring out of a purse above the slogan "New Labour, New Taxes" on hoardings all over the country.

In a landmark judgment only three days ago, the ASA told the party to drop advertisements depicting Tony Blair with demonic eyes. It ruled that the Conservatives had broken its code of conduct by portraying the Labour leader as "sinister and dishonest" and declared that they "should have known better".

But Conservative Central Office is to flout the spirit, if not the letter, of this ruling by using the "demon eyes" theme in a now 500-site poster campaign claiming that Labour would put up taxes.

A spokesman for Tony Blair said yesterday: "If, after all the condemnation there has been of their ridiculous negative campaigning, the Tories resort to effectively the same tactics on yet another issue on which they have lied, it will backfire again."

A Central Office spokesman admitted: "The eyes will definitely be there, but no final decision has yet been taken about which poster we will use."

The Tory advertising campaign, which began last month, is designed to rouse voters' fears of "New Labour, New Danger". Opposition MPs argue that the Conservatives have plumbed new depths of negative campaigning, borrowing from American politics. Tory officials insist they are only using Labour's own words. Clare Short, the Opposition front-bencher, criticised "dark forces" at work around Mr Blair.

Either way, the Conservatives are hugely satisfied with the outcome. Central Office insiders say the pounds 125,000 spent on publishing the "demon eyes" advert in three newspapers generated at least pounds 5m worth of publicity.

This week will be the first time the eyes appear on street hoardings. Central Office will not divulge how much is being spent, but Labour sources say leaked documents show the Tories will spend up to pounds 10m on advertising in the run-up to polling day.

The original "demon eyes" advertisement, which superimposed red, glowing eyes on a photograph of Mr Blair, triggered more than 150 complaints to the ASA, including one from the Bishop of Oxford.

Labour will tomorrow launch what it hopes will be a pre-emptive strike on tax against the Tories. Gordon Brown, the Shadow chancellor, is to list 22 ways in which the Government has extended VAT since 1992, despite election campaign promises not to do so.

The party has built up a dossier from papers lodged in the House of Commons library that lists the imposition of VAT on credit cards, on the servicing of cash-point machines, on charities' advertising, on stationery purchases and on blood products, among others. Labour also argues that the average British family pays more in taxes than when Mr Major was returned to power in 1992.

"The Tories lied at the last election on taxes," said Mr Brown. "We will not allow them to get away with it again. We will continue to remind the electorate that, having said there would be no tax increases, they then raised taxes by the biggest margin in history. No one will trust the Tories on taxes ever again."

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: I am currently recruiting level 3 n...

Are you a Teacher interested in Special Needs?

£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a qualified Teacher w...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album