Conservative Leader's Election Ads Spark Vandalism Trend

Last Updated Jan 22, 2010 3:40 PM EST

Advertising for Britain's Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, has been the target of a rash of on- and offline vandalism.

Ever since ad agency Euro RSCG created a poster featuring an eerily Photoshopped Cameron staring at the viewer with the words, "We can't go on like this. I'll cut the deficit. Not the NHS,"* bloggers and graffiti artists have been rendering their own versions. There's even a special web site where you can create your own Cameron poster, which is where I made this one:

The Conservative Party is in a tight election battle with Prime Minister Gordon Brown's ruling Labour Party.** Labour's ad agency is Saatchi & Saatchi. The ads were first altered by blogger Beau Bo D'or, but the oeuvre was quickly adopted by Labour's election campaign managers, who produced this version:

Here's one of my favorites, currently floating around the web:

The trend has moved out into the real world, where old-media vandals have taken to altering them in insulting ways:

(Don't get it, youngsters? It's a reference to Elvis Presley.) You can see more here and here.

*Yes, America, in the U.K. conservatives actually defend universal healthcare. ** That's how they spell it over there.

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