Q&A with Beverley Hart

Growing up in a corner shop in the early 80’s meant Beverley spent a lot of time stacking shelves, weighing out Cola Cubes and stealing Curly Wurlys. This clearly stood her in good stead as today she finds herself in the brilliant position of Communications and Marketing Director at Scotland Food & Drink.  

Previously, Beverley was Communications Director at Worldwide Cancer Research and Client Services Director at Tayburn. But as the British Amy say…she was born in Manchester but made at the Union. Twelve years working with a bunch of creative giants, she had the privilege of working on some brilliant campaigns.  There was also the small matter of finding her soul mate at the Union too.

Beverley’s greatest achievements - and reasons for being - are her two kids Sadie and Innes.

We caught up with her ahead of Amplify 2018, where she will be speaking on the Clients Team for the Pioneering Spirit Creative Challenge: Clients vs Agencies. Tickets available here.

Hey Beverley! Can you tell us what brands are you most impressed with at the moment? Any campaigns that have particularly caught your eye?

Having recently joined Scotland Food & Drink I’ve been getting to know some of the fantastic Scottish food and drink brands out there.  Particular favourite has to be Harris Gin. Fantastic brand story, beyond beautiful packaging and a gin Nigella Lawson said was the most delicious gin she had ever tasted!

Another great find recently is a company rather than a campaign or brand. They’re called Bottle of Ginger and are a community drinks company based in Bridgeton, Glasgow. Their aim is to change local ‘juice’ culture by involving the community in challenging consumption habits, re-defining the product and rethinking the processes of soft drink manufacturing.

You worked at Worldwide Cancer Research, and CHAS for a short while. What was it like to work for a charity?

Working in the charity sector is just the toughest gig.  There are some huge household names in the sector but for the majority of the 168,000 charities registered in the UK, raising awareness and fundraising is just so difficult on limited marketing budgets. The sector has also suffered for some time now with austerity increasing the demand for many of their services, but also the investigation led by the Daily Mail damaging credibility and trust in the sector.  I’m not sure what the future holds.  I’m more interested in new models for supporting these great causes – social enterprises being one of them. But I have to say my hat is off to the incredible team at CHAS.  You should check out their new identity created by the children they support. And while you’re there make a donation…fantastic people doing a brilliant job!

What advice would you give to a young marketer just starting out in their career?

Be inquisitive. Marketing is a brilliant career if you’re interested in human beings and the world around us. Read, see, do, talk, listen, watch…seek out interesting people from all walks of life. 

What’s on the horizon for Scotland Food and Drink this year?

It’s a really exciting time at Scotland Food & Drink, but I’m learning that it is every year. The food and drink sector has gone from strength to strength and there’s some really exciting collaborations, new innovations and new thinking helping to drive areas such as food tourism, how we tackle food and drink related health issues in Scotland, the continued growth of Scottish craft beers and spirits, our hugely important export market and also how the industry supports young people equipping them with the skills needed for a rewarding career in the industry. Brexit is now round the corner and Scotland sells £2 billion of food and drink to the rest of the EU every year and nearly 40,000 of our workforce are EU nationals too. Brexit offers challenges and opportunities for Scotland’s food and drink sector and the team at Scotland Food & Drink will be working closely with our strategic partners, and the Scottish Government to support our industry to continue to help deliver that competitive edge for Scotland.

We hear you like a good film…can you tell us any of your favorites and why?

Yes! Love a good film...though I don’t do horror. My all-time favourite is Frances Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. I love anything by Scorsese (preferably with Leonardo in it) - The Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed and of course Goodfella’s would be on my Desert Island downloads. A good sound track and the right leading man are crucial… Michael Fassbender in Macbeth (Scotland’s landscape made that film), Christian Bale in the Big Short. Mathew McConaughey in Killer Joe and as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club. But if I just want to watch something with the kids then School of Rock every time!