Former deputy Prime Minister and member of the U.K. Labour Party, John Prescott, is encouraging supporters to click on Google pay-per-click ads sponsored by the Conservative Party, in order to diminish the campaign budget of Labour's major political rivals.
Prescott posted an update on Twitter today stating, "Click here http://bit.ly/RinseCashcroft then click on Labour Have Failed = 50p out of the Tories warchest. Let's do this!"
The "Labour have failed" ad to which Prescott refers currently directs users to the Conservative Party's YouTube channel, which features video content from within Conservative Headquarters and of party leader, David Cameron.
Clicking on the Conservative Party campaign's ads will indeed cost the party money; however, the sole intention of such ads is to promote the Conservatives' message among voters. One assumes Prescott's Twitter followers are staunch Labour supporters, but the fact remains he is promoting links to a rival party's site in a public forum.
Both of the U.K.'s major parties are making extensive use of Twitter - and social media more widely - as the election campaign race heats up, especially since this morning when Prime Minister Gordon Brown officially announced an election date of May 6th.
Both parties are heavily promoting "Twibbons" -- which allow users to show support through the icons associated with their Twitter profiles. Last week, the Liberal Democrats also launched an online campaign targeted at both Labour and The Conservatives, and is tweeting via the account name @GorvidCamerown, an amalgamation of the names of Gordon Brown and David Cameron.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.