Lucy Bird quits: ‘Lobsters claimed their first victim’

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LOBSTERS who shop in the New Town might not seem like the most deadly of animals, but they have still claimed their first victim.

The cartoon crustacean stars of the Incredinburgh advertising campaign may not have directly cost the £100,000-a-year head of Marketing Edinburgh her job.

But it seems likely that if it were not for the controversial ad campaign then Lucy Bird would still be heading up Edinburgh’s efforts to sell itself to the rest of the world.

Her departure was about as surprising as the recent sacking of Craig Levein as Scotland football manager.

Everyone knew that a parting of the ways was in the offing, it was just a matter of when the split came.

Ever since she presented the campaign to sceptical councillors in the autumn, her days were numbered. They felt that she had ignored concerns that they had raised about the campaign proposals in the summer.

Ms Bird was highly regarded in her previous post, where she established The Sage in Gateshead as one of the north of England’s most prominent arts venues.

But, already under pressure over Marketing Edinburgh’s struggle to secure funding from companies in the Capital, she was never likely to survive the breakdown in the relationship with her agencies’ major funders.

In the circumstances, the parting of the ways is the best thing for all concerned. There is every chance that Ms Bird will move on to success elsewhere.

And Edinburgh certainly needs to put to rest a potentially damaging split among those interested in promoting the Capital, for the good of the city’s economy.

Whoever succeeds her will need to unite politicians, officials and business leaders, as well as persuading the latter to hand over money to bankroll their ambitions. It’s certainly a tough nut to crack.