The Longest Running Series on Television

Party Political Broadcasting in Britain

Authored by: Simon Cross , Dominic Wring

Routledge Handbook of Political Advertising

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138908307
eBook ISBN: 9781315694504
Adobe ISBN: 9781317439783


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Political advertising in Britain comes in various guises. In a pioneering survey of campaigning activities during the 19th century Ostrogorski used the term to refer to the literature candidates disseminated during election time (Ostrogorski, 1902). The advent of mass democracy and changes in media and communication after World War I led to a shift away from politicians relying on this kind of printed material and their increasing embrace of other forms of publicity including the ubiquitous and surprisingly enduring medium of the poster. The rise of mass circulation newspapers led to parties purchasing space in the best-selling titles to disseminate key messages to the growing audiences of readers. But it was the introduction of radio that led to politicians being granted airtime that enabled them to communicate with potential supporters in a more intimate way that mimicked the personal address of a public meeting. This format, known as the Party Election Broadcast (PEB), has become a familiar feature of British politics. And like the election poster, the medium has proved to be an enduring feature of successive campaigns.

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