Meet the marketing pro selling Edinburgh to the world

Claire Harrison Church
Marketing expert now on Marketing Edinburgh board
Claire Harrison Church Marketing expert now on Marketing Edinburgh board
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The advertising guru who created the Here Come the Girls commercial for Boots is to help sell the Capital to the world after joining the board of Marketing Edinburgh.

Claire Harrison-Church fell in love with the city when she studied Biochemistry at Edinburgh University and now returns with a glittering 30-year career under her belt.

“I loved the city from day one,” she said.

“I loved the fact it hardly rains compared to [birthplace] Northern Ireland and the brewery smell.

“I also met my husband whilst at university and our first date was in the Canny Man’s.”

Ms Harrison-Church was bitten by the marketing bug after joining Unilever as a graduate trainee and has gone on to head iconic campaigns for global brands.

She started out developing a contraceptive product, which included the daunting task for a 25-year-old of running focus groups with women about sex.

Mrs Church-Harrison also gained experience at fast-food chicken chain KFC.

She said: “I loved my time at KFC – we drove double-digit sales growth through new advertising, revamped restaurants and developed more contemporary products.

“We also launched a Soul Food campaign using famous Northern Soul tracks, which is still my favourite advertising project to this day.”

She joined the Boots marketing team, where she went on to develop one of the most iconic campaigns in the 
company’s history. In 2007 the TV advert launched across UK TV screens, making the Here Come the Girls song synonymous with the high-street chemist and clinching awards.

And after returning to Edinburgh six months ago, Mrs Harrison-Church is looking forward to the challenge of promoting the city.

She said: “I have been back to the city most years since graduating, especially to enjoy the festival. Edinburgh is the perfect place to live – where else can you be minutes away from brilliant shops and restaurants, or rolling hills and beaches?

“It’s easy to be complacent – Edinburgh attracts four million annual visitors, it’s the city that sells itself.

“This simply isn’t true.

“As a marketer, I’ve driven growth in business as diverse as shampoo, fried chicken and grocery retail.

“What’s key is understanding your customers and then being focused on what’s most important, not trying to do everything.

“I look forward to the challenge of bringing that experience and passion to promoting Edinburgh as one of the best places in the world to live, work, study and 
visit.”

Marketing Edinburgh, the agency responsible for promoting Edinburgh to the world, has also announced the appointment of three other board members for the unpaid posts.

All leaders from their respective fields, the high-profile appointments include Paul Rowllings, Sandra Blake and Stephen Ingledew.

The non-executives will join city councillors – Lord Provost Frank Ross, Jo Mowat and Gordon Munro – on the 
board.

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk