Media Release: Is the Big Idea dead? Advertisers debate

THE second Edinburgh International Marketing Festival (EIMF) takes place on Thursday, August 25, and marks the centenary of the Scottish father of advertising, David Ogilvy, who coined the ‘big idea’ expression over 50 years ago.

To celebrate Ogilvy’s centenary EIMF is hosting the Ogilvy Debate, open to those in the marketing, advertising and communications industry.

The debate will dissect Ogilvy’s famous ‘big idea’ which asserts that advertising without a big idea “will pass like a ship in the night” and EIMF will pose the motion: The house believes the ‘big idea’ is dead.

Industry members will be joined by distinguished teams of experts.

Arguing for the motion is Ivan Lewis, MP and Shadow Secretary for State for Culture, Media and Sport, Scott Gallacher, chair of the Marketing Society Digital Network and Rob Brown, board director of the CIPR.

Against the motion will be Paul Bainsfair, director general of the IPA and Hugh Baillie, chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather.

In the chair will be Kenny Harris, founder of Heasdsurf.

An industry summit will take place beforehand when topics such as creating a shared vision for Scotland’s marketing industry will be discussed, along with how industry bodies can work more effectively together.

Following the debate will be the EIMF Reception taking place at the Roof Gardens at Waverley Gate, Edinburgh. Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, will address the reception together with director of Marketing and Communications for Channel Four, Dan Brooke.

Commenting on the festival, Marketing Society director, Graeme Atha, said: “Scotland has so much creative talent and the festival aims to bring people together to explore and challenge ideas, as well encourage new collaborative opportunities.

“Our inaugural event last year was a huge success and we hope this year’s efforts will further enhance the important role the industry plays in developing companies and contributing to the economy.”

Ogilvy Debate

August 25, 3pm – 5pm

The Scotsman, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh

Ticket price: £20 + VAT (Marketing Society Members) £25 + VAT (Non-Members)

To book your ticket please contact Sarah Folley on 0208 973 1360 or at


Media Enquiries:

For more information please contact Nicki Sturzaker or Suzanne Hart at The BIG Partnership on 0131 555 5522.

Note to Editors:

  1. EIMF launched in 2010
  2. EIMF is the celebration of the marketing industry and remains a world first, adding an entirely new focus to both the Edinburgh Festival calendar and to the development of the creative industry and cultural economy.
  3. The Industry Summit will take place between 11am and 1pm at The Scotsman, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh. The EIMF Reception will be held from 6 to 8pm at the Roof Gardens, Waverly Gate, Edinburgh. The Industry Summit and EIMF Reception are by invite only.

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Contact: Jeremy Bone
Phone: 0131 555 5522