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Norwich Union leads charge as Blair exits Downing Street

LONDON - Insurers, lobby groups and charities have cashed in on the change of Prime Minister today with a number of tactical print ads centering on the departure of Tony Blair from office after a decade in power.

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Insurance company Norwich Union plays on the Blairs' move out of Downing Street with a series of three ads in The Guardian, The Times and the Independent.

One ad shows packing boxes on the street outside Number 10, while the second features suitcases lined up on the pavement outside the Blairs' former home. The third, aimed at company car drivers, suggests Blair was swapping his official Jaguar for a VW Camper van and the line "Lost the use of your company car?". The ads were created by TDA.

Lobby group AirportWatch, meanwhile, took out a full-page ad addressed to new PM Gordon Brown in The Guardian and The Times. The ad features Brown in his familiar Budget Day pose as Chancellor. Instead of holding up the usual red briefcase, Brown is seen holding a suitcase.

The ad calls for a stop to airport expansion and encourages readers to express their views to Brown.

Charity Actionaid has used the change of leader to remind Guardian readers about world poverty. Beginning "Yo Gordo" echoing George Bush's now infamous greeting to Blair, the full-page ad shows a memo from Tony Blair asking Gordon Brown to sort out the current EU trade offer to Africa, as well as pledging more national income tax as aid and pressuring G8 members to deliver on a promise of AIDS treatment for everyone by 2010.

Alternative energy company Ecotricity, which offers green electricity, has also jumped on the bandwagon with a full-page ad on the backpage of the Guardian. It features a Union Jack Flag, where the red has been exchanged for green. The image is accompanied by a few words from Dale Vince, CEO, at Ecotricity who sends a personal message to Gordon Brown: "Dear Gordon. I'm all for a change of power. Enjoy your big day. Dale Vince."

The ad is supported by a microsite designed to express Dale's radical opinion on climate change and it is hoped by the energy to become a forum for "innovation and solutions as well as a vehicle for private and public debate".

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