Edinburgh Airport boss to chair marketing body

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THE body responsible for the “Incredinburgh” marketing campaign has named an airport supremo as its chairman.

Marketing Edinburgh has appointed Edinburgh Airport communications director Gordon Robertson to the top role. He immediately called for a “considerable” boost to the promotions-centred body’s coffers from city businesses.

He has pledged to make sure the Capital’s marketing strategy is “as cohesive, dynamic and efficient as possible”.

The appointment comes as the council-funded body works to repair its reputation after the much-ridiculed Incredinburgh campaign, which was mauled by critics and resulted in a series of high-profile senior departures, including chief executive Lucy Bird and director of marketing Alan Gibson.

Although stopping short of calls for a “tourism tax”, Mr Robertson – who will juggle the responsibilities of the new post in tandem with his work at Edinburgh Airport – said “every avenue” would be explored in a drive to boost Marketing Edinburgh’s financial firepower.

He said: “We need to be looking at ways of getting more private funding in – I think we need to get it up by a considerable amount.

“We should be benchmarking Edinburgh against cities across Europe, which have a lot more money to play with and use for marketing. We need to be having a conversation with businesses and the private sector in Edinburgh, and saying to them that we can deliver benefits for everyone if we pull together.”

Mr Robertson, who is on the Marketing Edinburgh board and replaces Alan Johnston, admitted the Incredinburgh controversy was damaging.

However, he said the agency’s confidence was recovering strongly after the launch of marketing drives such as This Is Edinburgh and thanks to its new, three-year strategy.

“Incredinburgh did stall the organisation slightly, but I think we’ve come through that,” he said. “The new strategy will help. Previously, we were working on a yearly basis and that doesn’t give you much chance to look ahead. With this, we should be looking quite far in advance.”

Mr Robertson’s appointment was welcomed by Mr Johnston, who said Marketing Edinburgh was in a good position to boost the Capital’s image.

He said: “It took time to introduce the right framework and get the right team in place. Marketing Edinburgh will be increasingly important to the city’s development in the coming years, and I firmly believe Gordon is best placed to drive its growth.”