Last week saw the announcement of the City ofGlasgow‘s long-awaited decision on who was to be responsible for the City of European Culture's public image. Breath was particularly bated for the unveiling of the 1990 campaign slogan and logo, which was to happen simultaneously with the formal announcement of the award ofthe advertising account.
In the event. reactions were to the slogan. There's A LotafGlasgoirtg On In 1990 (presented a la Charles Rennie Mackintosh with little dots under the letter 'o’s) has been mixed
In addition to our aesthetic reactions to the slogan. however. there was another question to consider. The advertising account. it transpired. had been won by Saatchi and Saatchi. a firm more readily associated with the Conservative Party and its power base in the South East of England than with Labour controlled Glasgow. How had they managed this. and what ofthe competition for the account worth an expected £2 million?
Three firms were in with a fighting chance in the end; the Saatchis. Struthers Advertising. and Ogilvy & Mather. The last two ofthese either have offices. or are based. in Scotland. and they must have thought that should at least gave them some sort of advantage over Saatchis. The City Council. though. thought otherwise. and went south in its choice of agency. saying that part of its reason for doing so was that ‘In a campaign of this importance we could not afford to be parochial or provincial in our thinking.‘The Scottish factor. it seems. was not one which weighed. at least in this matter. very heavily. Saatchi's. in
any case. had. when we spoke to
them. reply ready in the person of Andrew Hawberry. the man responsible for the running ofthe campaign. ‘I am from Stranraer.‘ he proclaimed proudly. He was. in fact in Glasgow when I spoke to him. negociating the establishment ofa Scottish office for the agency. This office is now ‘a near certainty.‘ he says. though whether this will be enough to quell those lingering doubts remains to be seen.
What. though. of the question of size? Saatchi & Saatchi are indeed large and prestigious. but Ogilvy 6;; Mather. who claim to be the third biggest agency in the world. command. from their Scottish base. enormous resources. Clearly. other
considerations affected the Council‘s ;
decision as well.
Three separate presentations were made by those agencies which reached the final round ofthe competition for the account. the overall cost ofwhich. for Ogilvy & Mather. was around £20000. Struthers‘s final presentation centered on their Glasgow's Years Ahead slogan. while Ogilvy & Mather concentrated on their Glasgow '5‘ Jtmtping slogan. which they thought conveyed a sense of bubbling excitement. and also proposed a Get to the A rt ()fGlasgmv slogan for the artier side of next year‘s events.
It seems simply that the City Council preferred the Saatchis‘s There 's a lot Glasgow'ng an in 1990 to any of the above. but what do other people in Glasgow think? Ross Hunter. ofdesign consultancy Graven Images in Glasgow. said that whilst he was looking forward to next year tremendously. he wasn‘t really impressed with the slogan. murmuring something about its being even worse than Glasgow '3‘ miles better. Former Lord Provost Dr Michael Kelly (the man responsible for that hugely successful slogan). thought however that the council had made the best choice available to it. and that he actually liked the slogan. Many other people declined to offer appraisals of the slogan. preferring to wait and see if it proves effective.
Meanwhile. the big question remains. although Saatchi & Saatchi certainly have the prestige and
advertising know-how. do they have the solid foundation oflocal knowledge they will undoubtedly need to build on ifthey are to succeed in promoting an accurate image ofGlasgow. and ifnot. can they acquire it in time? Time. as they say. will tell.
It is a brave man, you might think, who in these financially troubled times would take on the chairmanship of an arts organisation, and an even braver one who would submit himself to the ordeal of administering the finances of an organisation like the Richard Demarco Gallery. Indeed, James Walker, who has just taken on that very post after along association with the Demarco Gallery, has coniessed in public to ending up shaking after his first encounter with the company’s accounts. He is, however, no stranger to the Demarco style, and is well aware of Mr Demarco's own somewhat adventurous approach to money matters; on one occasion, alter Ricky had chartered a jumbo jet to fly 350 people from the States to Edinburgh, Walker saved the Gallery from certain bankruptcy by cancelling the booking at the eleventh hour. Let it not be said that he doesn’t know what he's letting himself in tor.
The news ofthe Murdoch takeover of the Glasgow based book publisher Collins has been greeted by many of the authors who have contracts with that august body in a mood of dismay. Ludovic Kennedy (an interview with whom will appear in the next issue of ( The List) has his autobiography On My Way To The Club published by Collins on January 15th. He says he is ‘depressed‘ by the whole affair. ‘I don‘t think Murdoch is good news
for any writer' he said. ‘How is he going to run a company where one of the biggest businesses is producing Bibles alongside page three girls with bare tits?‘ Even given that Collins's new management don’t see any tension between Christianity and exposed breasts. Kennedy remains philosophical about his future with the company; ‘There are too many good people there whom I wouldn’t want to separate with.‘ So Kennedy won‘t be resigning now that the man he describes as a ‘rapacious money maker' is in charge. On the contrary, he says ‘lt is quite possible that he will want to get rid of me.‘
The success ofJohn Mackay‘s brilliantly funny two-handed play Dead Dad Dog, which first saw the light of day at the Traverse as one of its Scottish Accents 88 commissions. has led. by one ofthose unfortunate chains ofcircumstance.
Steve Unwin. the original director, was unavailable. it transpired. Never mind. they thought at the Traverse, we can get Jeremy Raison, who is a very good director. to fill in for him, and anyway. Ralph Riach and Sam Graham (the two actors in the original production) both know their parts well. Then. however. the estimable Ralph Riach fell ill and was forced to withdraw and. to top this. Sam Graham. upon hearing the news. decided to withdraw as he had really wanted to work with Ralph.
Despite these setbacks the original production will tour in the near future. though with a new cast and director. The newcomers have decided. it seems. to use John Mackay‘s version of the original script.
Publisher Robin Hodge. Editors Nigel Billen. Sarah l lemming. Associate Editor Allan llunter. Editorial Assistants Stuart Bathgate. Andrew Burnet. lain (irant. Design Simon listerson.
Editor Paul Keir. Production Co-ordinator Mark Fisher. Production Assistant Nikki Hoare. Art Alice Bain. Books Alan Taylor. Kristina Woolnough . Cl888l08l Music Carol Main. Dance Alice Bain. Diary lain
Nigel Billen. Nightlife Stuart Raiker. Andy Crabb. Colin Steven. Open Sarah Hemming. Rock (Edinburgh) Alastair Mabbott. Rock (Glasgow) John Williamson. Sport Stuart Bathgate. Theatre Sarah llcmming. Travel
Advertising/Circulation Jess Grant. Film Allan Hunter. Kristina melnough Barrow. Rhobat Bryn. Trevor Johnston. Camera Edinburgh Sheila Mat-lean. Accounts Folk/Jazz Norman Make-up SCIVICCS Cover
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Chalmers. Food Julie Morrice. Sally Stewart. Kids Sally Kinnes. Media
Make-up Services Cover Eric Clapton Cover Design Nigel Billen. Paul Keir.
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4 The List 13 — 26 January