There’ll have to be some hasty editing over the weekend as the Nationals rejig the advertising campaign for their new party — the campaign they didn’t bother telling the Liberals about.

Crikey has learnt that so arrogant have the Nationals been in assuming the merger with the Liberals was a done deal, they went ahead and commissioned, produced and booked “Liberal National Party” advertising for next week, featuring the theme of “a new Queensland” and focussing on Lawrence Springborg under the “LNP” brand. The intention was to hit the ground running with the new party branding as soon as it was formed.

Except they conveniently forgot to tell the Liberals.

According to Liberal sources, the Nationals refused to even show the advertising, let alone the research underpinning it, to their merger partners. When Mal Brough first became aware of the rebranding campaign being prepared by the Nationals earlier this month, he demanded to see the campaign materials and market research done for it, with the aim of getting Liberal advisers to examine it. The Nationals — deeply antagonistic toward Brough — refused to share the material.

Last Friday, the Nationals finally got around to providing some details, with State Secretary Mary Carroll emailing the advertising schedule out:

From: Mary Carroll
Sent: Friday, 18 July 2008 4:18 PM
To: Bob Harper; Graham Heilbronn (Trustee); Kevin Blinco; Kim Black (Flynn Campaign Mgr); Peter Dunning; Scott Buchholz (Central Council Rep)
Cc: Mal Brough; brucemciver
Importance: High

Dear TAC Members,

At Wednesday’s TAC meeting, I was to inform the group about the booked advertising schedule post Conference. Please find below the following details:

2 x 30 sec tv commercials two run for two weeks from 28/7 across all signals in Qld except Gold Coast (GC is picked up out of Brisbane signal) on channels 9 and 10 – channel 7 is fully booked due to Olympics ads will highlight theme of “a new Queensland” and will feature Springborg under the LNP branding

Kind regards,

Mary Carroll
State Secretary

The budget for the material is reputed to be $700,000. The “LNP” branding, at the very least, will now have to be jettisoned given the Nationals are charging ahead with their own party on the weekend.

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