Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: The Tory Party's LABOUR ISN'T WORKING

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    In 1978, the British Conservative Party hired Saatchi & Saatchi to handle their upcoming General Election publicity. The LABOUR ISN’T WORKING. poster is the most famous poster from that campaign and, indeed, one of the most well known in British history. This paper will examine the poster’s visual rhetoric in order to establish how and why this poster became so famous. The paper concert that it is not just what is present, but what is absent is equally as important. This paper will identify and account for the visual rhetoric of this poster by using a social semiotic analysis, similar to that advocated by Robert Hodge and Gunther Kress in Social Semiotics. This paper has evolved has evolved from the author’s Ph.D. thesis, which is a social semiotic analysis of the Conservative Party’s 1979 General Election poster and print advertising. To date, there has been no other critical analysis of the visual rhetoric of this poster.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAtiner Conference Paper Series
    Subtitle of host publicationMedia 2012
    EditorsGregory Papinikos
    Place of PublicationAthens
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)2241-2891
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Social Semiotics
    • Thatcher
    • Saatchi * Saatchi


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