Kiwi campaign agency signed by Boris
The New Zealand digital company that helped Scott Morrison's Liberals win a shock Australian election has now reportedly been engaged by Boris Johnson's Conservatives for its upcoming UK election campaign.
Topham Guerin helped Morrison outgun the favoured Labour Party through rapid digital messaging using videos and advertising messages and is reported by The Sydney Morning Herald to have been signed up to work for the Tories.
Founders, and former Young Nats Sean Topham and Ben Guerin, are reportedly to be based in Conservative campaign headquarters for an election which could happen any time as Britain grapples with the October 31 deadline to leave the European Union.
Johnson is keen to go to the people over Brexit but the Opposition Labour Party has resisted his challenges to precipitate an election by joining a parliamentary vote in favour of the poll.
Topham Guerin has offices in Auckland and London and The Sydney Morning Herald reports a campaign video launched at the Conservative conference last week was said to be "vintage TG".
The firm won plaudits from the Liberals in Australia for their role in the come-from-behind win by Morrison in May. Topham told Newsroom after the victory the agency produced content for the party, a mix of videos, animations and graphics "and we worked hard to present that creative in a variety of ways to suit the different platforms and audience".
Topham Guerin has been accused in Britain and Australia by the left in politics of indulging in dark arts like those deployed by polling and research company Crosby Textor. But Topham says it plays a different role. "We're different. Our aim is to be the best creative and digital consultancy in the world. It's not about being creative for the sake of it or using digital tools for the sake of it. It's about being effective with them. That's what counts."
Australian media coverage of the Liberals' digital campaign noted its speed and sophistication, pouncing on any weaknesses in the campaign of Labour's Bill Shorten and targeting the audiences sent supportive videos of Morrison cooking or glad-handing on the hustings.
The Conservative Party job would be the biggest political assignment for Topham Guerin. Before the Liberals' victory it had worked on National's ultimately unsuccessful 2017 campaign here and state campaigns in New South Wales and South Australia. Topham spent time working alongside the Conservatives in London at an earlier campaign.
One of the two Liberal campaign deputy directors, Isaac Levido, with whom Topham Guerin worked on the Morrison campaign, has already been hired by Johnson's Conservatives as Director of Politics and Campaigning.
See also: Kiwis who helped ScoMo triumph