Have you ever, in an idle moment, wondered who it is that wears
those ridiculous costumes in the London Marathon?
The rhino I can’t help you with, but the pink bunny with the pointy ears
in last month’s event was Duracell’s director of marketing, Europe, Glyn
’The trouble with doing the race as a Duracell bunny is that you really
can’t stop,’ Harper laughs. In fact, he completed it in five hours,
seven minutes and raised a tidy amount for charity.
He has been just as quick to make his mark at the multinational he
joined as the UK marketing chief two years ago. Harper rose to head
Duracell’s marketing for northern Europe and then for the whole of
He has since helped revolutionise its relationship with advertising
First, the creative work was centralised across Europe into Ogilvy and
Mather and then last week, the media followed suit (Campaign, 25
Creatively, ads had previously been split between O&M in London, FCB and
B Communications. O&M Paris will now be in sole creative charge of the
account. The Network in London will handle the pan-European media
planning and buying task.
’I went looking to centralise the business so that we could take
advantage of efficiencies and also because we ourselves are organised
centrally across Europe,’ he says. ’For the creative appointment, it was
vital not only that I chose an agency with a strong creative background,
but also one that could provide a balance to our predominantly British
We are producing campaigns for the whole of Europe and I do think it’s
important that you aren’t too Anglo-Saxon in your outlook.’
Harper’s background suggests he has applied this open-mindedness to his
career, too. He studied cell biology at Glasgow University before
joining Procter and Gamble on the sales side. And although he then spent
12 years at Scott Paper, working on Andrex and Baby Fresh among other
brands, he packed into his time there a four-year stint in Philadelphia
and periods in the UK and Europe.