Anonymous of statistical hyperbole asks:
Growing up I always heard the “Glasgow’ Smiles Better” campain was the best thing that ever happened to Glasgow i.e tourism rose by a million percent and everyone was delightful to each other… Is this a lot of bull or was this really the case?
Glasgow’s Miles Better was one of the first ‘rebrands’ of an entire city and was promoted by Lord Provost Dr Michael Kelly. It might seem an almost ubiquitous approach to a city’s perceived cultural problems, be it Amsterdam’s ‘Iamsterdam' or Dundee's 'Ach, come on. You might as well’.
At a time where the perception of Glasgow is that everyone was a hard-drinking, hard-fighting, ex-shipbuilding ganglord the campaign did have a massive impact in changing the face of Glasgow.
Then-leader of Glasgow City Council Pat Lally (for it is he) is quoted as saying:
"The question is always asked Miles better than what?’. The answer is miles better than it used to be’.
In truth, the campaign was primarily aimed at business decision-makers who would be bringing the benevolent hand of privatised business into the city which did actually work.
It just goes to show that the upper echelons of the business sector can be duped by Roger Hargreaves characters and null comparatives.
It definitely improved tourism and was part of a concerted effort to wrench Glasgow from a tailspin but, while it was popular and well-liked, it would be naive to think that Glasgow was suddenly changed overnight by a big, yellow, smiley face.
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