About Its Called Cumbernauld!

Its Called Cumbernauld takes it's name from a famous advertising slogan. Back in the 1980's when the CDC (Cumbernauld Development Corporation) was still responsible for the growth and promotion of the town, they commissioned the advertising agency Baillie Marshall to come up with a promotional slogan. The result was a short sharp question and answer which became so ingrained in public memory, that even today when you mention you live in Cumbernauld to anyone in the West of Scotland, the chances are that they'll chant at you:-

"What's it Called? Cumbernauld!"

At the time, you could not watch ITV, or open a newspaper without this famous slogan assaulting your senses. It even featured for a time on an advertising hoarding that greeted passengers coming through domestic arrivals at Glasgow Airport. The video clip below shows one of the TV adverts from the series.

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Chic Harper recalls how the campaign was developed at www.chicharper.com. He remembers Jim Greig being responsible for the slogan. However, we've been contacted by Suzanne Sabatelli who tells a different story.

"..... it was actually my father who entered the competition in 1988 to invent a slogan for Cumbernauld. He received 2nd place but his slogan "What's it called ..... Cumbernauld? was used in the TV advert. My dad won tickets to the Glasgow Garden Festival at the time. His name was John Speedie........I think my dad deserves a little praise for inventing that famous slogan for Cumbernauld, don't you think?"

Suzanne Sabatelli - Aug 2011


Neil Robinson however casts doubt upon at least the date claimed by Suzanne as he relates below.

"..... if she is correct that her father won a competition for the slogan it could not have been 1988, the advert was recorded in 1987. I know this as it was my P7 class from Ravenswood Primary who done the run up to the camera at the end of the ad.

I even recall the following year at the Glasgow Garden festival as I went with my 1st year high school class into the festival we were met at the entrance way with a poster ad for 'Whats it called' and I was embarrassed to see my face in the poster from a still shot from the advert. I'd now love to see that poster again but i doubt that any would still be about.

Neil Robinson - Aug 2013


Since there is no longer a CDC to "bat" for Cumbernauld and the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth District Council has been absorbed into North Lanarkshire Council, it seemed appropriate to create this site to help get some focus back on Cumbernauld.

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