EDITORIAL: Think Britain, but Act Regional Is a Sensible Strategy

Article excerpt

There are 'man bites dog' stories and there are 'dog bites man' stories - conventional wisdom has it that the former makes headlines and that the latter, being an everyday occurrence, is hardly worthy of note.

So what are we to make of the statement 'definitely not rebranding Britain'?

If there is a fate worse than becoming tomorrow's fish and chip wrapping, then this starting principle from the British Tourist Authority seems destined for it.

On the other hand, there are only so many times a man can bite a dog without it being exposed for what it is - artificial, opportunistic and tired. And so it is with rebranding Britain. Anyone who can tell you how many times Britain has rebranded can, quite literally, bore for it. For the sake of our sanity and national self-respect, let's just recall that 'Cool Britannia' and the rather more desperate 'UK OK' are two of the most recent attempts.

The efforts of the BTA to manage our excitement is the first indication that there is some serious insight underpinning the pounds 6m short breaks campaign that will appear this autumn. The second indication is that there is no real 'eureka' moment to the marketing strategy. A perennial problem with 'eureka' moments is that these days they are more often associated with the exclamation than the discovery itself.

Archimedes' revelation that the volume of an irregular solid can be measured by the amount of water it displaces no longer makes headline news. …