Martin Hannan: Ad campaign is on to a winner

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When the News revealed last week that a further £1 million was to be spent on promoting Edinburgh’s city centre, my heart sank a millimetre or so, not least because the money included council, ie your, cash and Marketing Edinburgh is in charge of the project.

Here we go again, I thought, as I recalled the absolute farce that was the Marketing Edinburgh campaign with its key word “incredinburgh”. In case you’ve forgotten, I called it “atrocious, dire, jaw-droppingly inept baloney and about as appealing as root canal treatment”.

Sandra Dick: ‘This Is Edinburgh’ slogan is a flop

Thankfully, the council saw sense and pulled the adverts before they damaged Edinburgh’s image too much. So when I heard that the slogan this time was going to be “This Is Edinburgh” I have to admit that I cringed a little, for your Edinburgh may not necessarily be my Edinburgh, and to baldly state “This” is Edinburgh seemed a mite too presumptuous to me.

There is no doubt that a major campaign is needed to convince people that the city centre is open for business after years of being little better than a battlezone, thanks to the tramworks. Businesses have lost millions as shoppers and visitors alike have gone elsewhere, while the city centre as a whole has seen a reduction in the all-important footfall that makes the shops thrive.

When the new promotional campaign was first announced, advertising and design agencies across the city no doubt licked their lips at the thought of fleecing the council tax payer with smartass slogans dreamed up over a skinny cappuccino.

Then I heard that a local advertising agency had won the pitch to design the campaign, and I had visions of another incredinburgh, though I knew that the agency behind that nonsense had not been given the new job.

Honestly, I was cringing as I pressed the play button on the News website to see the first television advert of the campaign. And to my shock and delight, there I was right in the middle of the advert.

Not me specifically, you understand, but I once was that dad taking his kids to the museums and then on for a gander at favourite shops.

It was a long time ago, but I vividly remember days in the Royal Museum in Chambers Street, simply the best educational entertainment around – and free into the bargain. The unusual thing about the advert is that it misses out the normal tourist traps such as the Castle and gives a local person’s view of what they like about the city centre. And the little boy in the advert is plainly proud to say: “This is my city. This is Edinburgh.”

It reminds all of us parents of the best thing we can do for our Edinburgh – teach our children to love the capital city of Scotland, while doing what we can to preserve its best bits.

The long nightmare that has been the trams is almost over, and regardless of the outcome of the referendum, this will still be a marvellous capital city come September 19. The This Is Edinburgh campaign makes us realise that truth, and having panned the incredinburgh travesty, it is only right that I congratulate Marketing Edinburgh and The Lane agency on what is a very good and useful start to their campaign.

Ask not for whom the bell trolls …

All you internet trolls beware. The Defamation Act 2013 is in force and while it only applies to England and Wales, if your comments can be shown to have harmed someone’s reputation in those territories, then the defamed person can come after you. And let’s face it, websites “circulate” everywhere.

Under the act, website operators will be forced to surrender a troll’s details or be sued. So ask yourself this before you post – will the website owner guarantee your anonymity?

The end of trolling is nigh, thank heavens.

Fed up of the No miseryguts

Still the relentless negativity of the No campaign goes thundering on. We can’t have the pound, our pensions aren’t guaranteed – that was a bit rich, coming as it did from Gordon ‘the banker’s chum’ Brown – we’re not guaranteed our own oil, businesses will pull out of Scotland, we won’t be getting into the European Union, and that’s just the last fortnight.

This SNP member has this to say to Project Fear – bring it on. Do your worst, spout your biggest threats, utter your balderdash morning, noon and night.

Let Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Brown, Darling, and, ahem, David Bowie, trumpet their nonsense. The Scottish people have had enough of your miserable tactics and will not be conned by any of them.

Thank you to La Rusticana

Regular readers will know I am happy to praise good service, and for outstanding and meritorious devotion to my culinary happiness over the years, La Rusticana in Hanover Street tops the lot.

My favourite Italian restaurant in the world serves good food and wine in a great family atmosphere, as when we celebrated my birthday there last week. Grazie tanto a tutti.

Cold comfort

Those scientists who warned about global warming 20-odd years ago all said the same thing – we wouldn’t get much warmer, just wetter. Why did they have to be so right?