David Cameron is under fire this morning in the Independent on Sunday for ‘product placements’ in interviews and speeches. The IoS highlights his recent promotion of Isle of Jura Malt Whisky – partly owned by a major Tory donor. It also notes the way he attacked BHS for marketing T-shirts that allegedly sexualised young children but didn’t attack Next for doing the same. Is it, the newspaper asks, because Next’s CEO donates to David Cameron’s personal office?
The graphic on the right (click to enlarge) illustrates some of the examples of David Cameron’s name-dropping of brands. Some of the Sindy’s examples are a bit of a stretch but there is a useful warning in this piece. David Cameron is talking a lot about corporate responsibility – no doubt inspired by his communications supremo, Steve Hilton, whose ‘Good Business‘ company specialises in this area. Few will notice the IoS piece but Mr Cameron needs to be careful not to give more widely-read newspapers and the Labour Party ammunition in this area.
Mr Cameron’s next speech in this area could usefully question a company that has donated to the Conservative Party or is, just possibly, a client of Good Business.