Ad agency accuses federal Tories of imitating Manitoba NDP attack ad

In a cheeky social media rebuttal, an advertising agency says it's "flattered" the federal Conservatives copied an ad it created for the Manitoba NDP in 2011.

The NOW Group says it's 'flattered' federal Conservatives used its 'Job Interview' ad

"Job Interview" idea from 2011 Manitoba NDP attack ad "imitated" by federal Tories

In a cheeky social media rebuttal, an advertising agency says it's "flattered" the federal Conservatives copied an ad it created for the Manitoba NDP in 2011.

The NOW Group was commissioned by New Democrats in 2011 to create the ad called "Hugh McFadyen's Job Interview, Position: Premier".

In the attack ad, the actors play the hiring committee. They berate his credentials and mock his experience.

"Nice suit though," was the signature closing critique. 
New federal Conservatives attack ad against Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau mocks his experience similar to ad used by Manitoba NDP in 2011

The federal Conservatives are now running a pre-election attack ad against Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau with the same job interview approach, attacking his experience and former comments Trudeau made on policies such as balancing budgets and aid to Syria.

The advertisement strikes many of the same chord the Conservatives have used to attack Trudeau in the past, including "being Prime Minister is not an entry level job".

In the most striking similarity with the Manitoba NDP 2011 ad, the Tory commercial ends with the line "nice hair though," as its signature closing critique of Trudeau.

Ad company 'feeling awfully flattered'

The NOW Group was quick to call out the Tories on Facebook and Twitter for taking its four-year-old idea.

"They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," the ad agency wrote on Facebook. "If so, we're feeling awfully flattered today... and you'll never believe who's doing the flattering."

The Now Group is frequently used by left wing political parties and is the go-to ad agency for the Manitoba NDP. 

In its statement, the company goes on to suggest the copycat ad may not be successful for Stephen Harper's re-election bid.

"Copying even a highly successful ad (cough, blush) from a previous election isn't necessarily a smart approach," the company wrote.

Watch the two attack ads below


Chris Glover

CBC News Reporter

Chris Glover has been a reporter, anchor and producer with CBC News for a decade. He’s an award winning storyteller, who has travelled the country in search of fascinating characters with compelling stories to share on TV, radio and online. A series he helped spearhead at CBC Toronto, No Fixed Address, won a national RTDNA award in 2017 and the municipal election special he anchored in 2018 was just nominated for an RTDNA award for best live special.


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