Glasgow's miles better

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The Glasgow's miles better logo

Glasgow's Miles Better was a campaign to promote the city of Glasgow as a tourist destination and as a location for industry. It was developed by Scottish advertising agency, Struthers Advertising, and featured the phrase "Glasgow's Miles Better" wrapped around the cartoon figure of Mr. Happy. It is regarded as one of the world's earliest and most successful attempts to rebrand a city, and received a number of domestic and international awards.[1][2]


It was launched by the then Lord Provost of Glasgow Michael Kelly in 1983. Glasgow had previously suffered from a reputation as a hard-drinking, gang-ridden, working-class city. The campaign focused on the cultural richness of the city, its environment (more parkland per head of population than any other city in Europe), its mild climate and its suitability for enterprise. The result was a very significant change in the way Glasgow was viewed from the outside. The figure of Mr. Happy from the Mr. Men children's books appeared on posters and badges alongside the slogan.

John Struthers was man credited with devising the "Glasgow's Miles Better" campaign.[3]

The catch-phrase is a famous example of a null comparative. The deliberate vagueness was certainly part of the success of the campaign.

In later phases of the campaign the catch-phrase was adapted in a number of ways, such as "Glasgow smiles better".

Edinburgh apparently responded to the campaign with a billboard and banner advertising campaign bearing the slogan, "Edinburgh: Count Me In".[4]

A new version of the Glasgow's Miles Better logo is due to launch as a website in 2014.[5]


  1. ^ Cultural Renaissance in the 1980s and 1990s, 28 March 2007, retrieved 30 April 2009 
  2. ^ Glasgow's Miles Better, 1 September 2004, retrieved 30 April 2009 
  3. ^ "John Struthers: Advertising man credited with devising the famous Glasgow's Miles Better campaign", The Herald (Glasgow), October 3, 2001. Retrieved October 31, 2012
  4. ^ Scotsman archive photo of Count Me In billboard on bus, 1987, retrieved 21 November 2010 
  5. ^ Glasgow's Miles Better website launch, 2014, retrieved 28 June 2013 

See also[edit]