By Neil Pooran
NEW catchphrases designed to promote Edinburgh as part of a marketing campaign, including “Incredinburgh” and “Welfedinburgh”, have been branded “appalling”.
Marketing Edinburgh, a council-funded firm in charge of developing a new strategy to promote the city, is reconsidering its approach after the proposed slogans were rejected by councillors.
As well as “Incredinburgh” other slogans suggested included “Paitthetownredinburgh” and “Welfedinburgh”, to highlight the city’s pubs, clubs and restaurants.
“Romanceisnotdedinburgh” and “Grabyourseldinburgh”—to promote winter sports— were also suggested at a presentation earlier this year.
A scheme to re-brand the city has now been scaled back, with a more limited marketing campaign planned for the winter instead.
Marketing Edinburgh was set up with council money last year to promote Edinburgh as a destination.
The firm, which has council chief executive Sue Bruce as a director, is understood to have a six-figure sum at its disposal to come up with a slogan and strategy which would attract more visitors to the capital.
Marketing firm the Leith Agency, which has had the Scottish Government and Honda as clients, were used by Marketing Edinburgh.
At a presentation to senior councillors earlier this year, the arms-length company unveiled “Incredinburgh” as the preferred news slogan to the sceptical politicians.
Other slogans like “Romanceisnotdedinburgh and “grabyourseldingburgh” would have also fitted into the proposed campaign.
Edinburgh has lacked a catchy slogan along the lines of the “Glasgow’s Miles Better” campaign, launched in 1983, which is credited with giving the city a more positive image.
But the senior councillors asked for other ideas to be considered.
At a second meeting, the same theme was proposed again, and council deputy leader Steve Cardownie is said to have walked out.
A council source said: ”The politicians did not think the proposed campaign lived up to expectations, and it caused a huge amount of friction.
“The council insisted the campaign should be for the winter only, with the other slogans being put out for market testing.”
No final decision has been made about the slogans, but the Leith Agency registered the domain name Incredinburgh.com on 2 July this year, allowing a website to be hosted with that name.
A Twitter post in the name of Leith Agency creative director Gerry Farrell also said: “Only one way to describe Edinburgh in late autumn: incredinburgh”.
Jenny Dawe, the council’s former leader, said: “I think these ideas are absolutely appalling.
“You don’t need silly slogans to market Edinburgh. They don’t sound worth using at all, and they make me shudder.”
Cameron Rose, the city’s Conservative group leader, said: “Some of the slogans are a bit twee, and when you first hear ‘Incredinburgh’, I’m afraid it just doesn’t cut it.
“That said, some may grow on us.”
Steve Burgess, convener of the council’s Scottish Green group, said:
“Our group has never been convinced about the amount spent on marketing, as Edinburgh as a city speaks for itself.”
Marketing Edinburgh’s Lucy Bird said: “Over the pastfew months, we’ve collaborated with many of our city partners to develop a dynamic and lively new campaign for Edinburgh.
“As you would expect, there’s a huge amount of planning and discussion around a project like this and we’re welcoming feedback.”
A council spokesperson said: “As with all marketing campaigns; ideas evolve during the discussions between partner organisations.”
The council looked forward to the launch for the new campaign this winter, the spokesperson said.