JOHN Struthers was the adver-

tising man credited with devis-

ing the phenomenally successful ''Glasgow's Miles Better'' campaign which brought the city worldwide publicity.

His slogan, combined with cartoonist Roger Hargreaves's Mr Happy character, resulted in a flow of publicity material which was to be found in some of the most outlandish locations. There were reported sightings of Miles Better stickers in the Himalayas and in a town called Khabarovsk, eight days and 6000 miles east of Moscow.

The campaign changed the image of Glasgow from a city down on its luck to one that was brimming with prosperity and

confidence. The Miles Better theme was not universally popular, of course. There were some in

positions of power in Edinburgh who took the slogan as a claim that Glasgow was the superior city.

That was countered with a ''would we say that?'' response, suggesting it meant Glasgow was now better than once it was.

There was great evidence to support that interpretation as public buildings were sandblasted and a huge effort was made to help the city, quite literally, clean up its act.

Harry Diamond, who was Glasgow's public relations chief at the time, described in his book, Can You get My Name in the Papers, how the Miles Better campaign was born in 1983.

John and his 14-year-old son, Mark, had been travelling to

London by plane. It was typical

of him that time was not to be wasted, and they had been toss-

ing around ideas for a promotional campaign for the city, something that Lord Provost Michael Kelly was keen to develop.

On the train into London they were still seeking the right form of words and eventually Glasgow's Miles Better emerged on a piece of paper.

John took it to the lord provost who was immediately enthusiastic, perhaps even more so than John himself who still had doubts as to whether it fitted the bill. Michael Kelly, who was no slouch on the promotion front, picked up the ball and ran with it, ensuring that the resultant campaign was one of the best ever devised for a city.

In time, it won international recognition. John and Michael Kelly's successor, Robert Gray, travelled to New York to collect an award at the International Film and Television Festival.

Michael Kelly recalls his brief to John Struthers as : ''I need a slogan I can die for.''

He claims he, nevertheless, had three sleepless weeks before the campaign was launched. By the time he left office in 1984 he was being hailed as a hero and tributes flowed in from all over the world.

John also wrote the best-selling book Glasgow's Miles Better. The first copy of that publication was presented to the then prime min-ister Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street and she posed for pictures with John's grandsons, Graeme and Struan.

Mr Happy brought Glasgow international recognition but was killed off in 1990 despite arguments that there were plenty of ways in which the campaign could be adapted in order to maintain its freshness. In 1994, Lord Provost Pat Lally decided to resurrect the Mr Happy symbol, which was recognised as being much more successful than any of the replacements that had been drafted in.

While John Struthers's name is inextricably linked with the Miles Better campaign it was not his only claim to fame. He devised award- winning campaigns for some

of Scotland's biggest companies, including the Bank of Scotland and ScottishPower. The Bank of Scotland's Friend For Life theme came from the Struthers stable.

Born in Shettleston in 1932, John grew up loving art and, after leaving school, he pursued a career as a commercial artist with some of the leading advertising agencies

in the city. He attended evening classes at Glasgow Art College, honing the skills that had first attracted him to the world of advertising. His career took him to London for a few years and, on his return to his native city in 1963, he set up his own advertising agency. His company, Struthers Advertising and Marketing, grew to become the largest independently owned agency in Scotland, with a staff of 100 and offices in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. The company built a reputation for creative flair, a side of the business that was always overseen by John who was proved time and again to be an advertising man to his very core.

One area of life where John did not score instant success was in the business of retirement. In 1990 he sold his majority shareholding in the agency to his fellow directors. Within 18 months he was back on the scene again with Struthers Creations where his son, Mark, and son-in-law Stewart Rafferty joined him as co-directors. His earlier

sell-out had left him a wealthy man but he still felt the need to be actively involved. ''When you eat, sleep, and breathe advertising all your life, you simply do not walk away from it,'' he said.

Within weeks his fledgling

company acquired a majority shareholding in a promotional

merchandising and design company Impact (Scotland) Ltd which held the contract for the Glasgow's Alive campaign, a successor to Miles Better.

John fought a long battle with motor neurone disease and died last weekend at the Vale of Leven hospital, not far from his home in Rhu.

As recently as March of last

year he was still writing to The Herald, urging Glasgow to take

the initiative again by seeking to project itself on the world stage with positive images.

He conceded that the world could currently be forgiven for thinking that Edinburgh was

the only city in Scotland, yet

he could recall his own experience of the time when the capital was so concerned about Glasgow's upsurge in vitality and self-confidence that it refused to carry Glasgow's advertising on its buses.

He also paid tribute to the ''incredible input, enthusiasm and driving force afforded to the city by Michael Kelly'' while at the same time suggesting that business and commerce in Glasgow had been given little credit for its part in financing the campaign.

He pointed out that the campaign had been operational for 10 months before the city council became involved and the biggest contributor by far was the Scottish Development Agency.