U.K. election may be last for Lord Saatchi

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LONDON -- Lord Saatchi's future hold on the U.K. Conservative Party's ad account, to which he has contributed for the past 18 years, looks tenuous as General Election campaigning enters its last week, the Financial Times of April 28 reports.

The newspaper claims that a rift has opened between Lord Saatchi, chairman of M&C Saatchi, and Brian Mawhinney, the Conservative party chairman, who is playing a key role in running the Tories' election campaign. It quotes a member of Prime Minister John Major's "battle" team expressing doubt over whether Lord Saatchi will work on the Party's ad business again.

The paper also says Lord Saatchi is unhappy that the government has not ruled out membership of a single European currency and that the Prime Minister vetoed an ad because it was a personal attack on his main rival, Labour Party leader Tony Blair. The ad, which would have run at the start of the campaign, the paper reports, captions a picture of Blair: "What lies behind the smile?"

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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