28 June 2012 - 10:29am | posted by | 40 comments

Scottish industry shocked at sudden death of Kenny Harris

Scottish industry shocked at sudden death of Kenny HarrisScottish industry shocked at sudden death of Kenny Harris

The Drum has learned that one of Scotland’s best known and most popular marketing industry personalities Kenny Harris has sadly died after a sudden illness aged 53.

Kenny launched sales promotion agency The Marketing Store into Scotland during the Nineties, before going on to launch his own successful creative thinking consultancy HeadSurf in 2001.

It is understood that Kenny took ill suddenly on Tuesday with a suspected brain haemorrhage and never regained consciousness before sadly passing away on Wednesday.

Originally trained as a lawyer, Kenny worked for more than 15 years in advertising agencies in Scotland, including stints Castle Sales Promotions, MacDougalls Advertising and MCann Erickson. He was also a renowned stand-up comedian, performing in comedy clubs across the UK and also at ten consecutive Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.

He was also a huge supporter of The Marketing Society in Scotland and regularly hosted its St Andrew’s Day debates and contributed to many of its events and seminars.

His real passion however was creativity and after studying how creative people generate ideas he went on to bring these techniques together by launching HeadSurf.

Speaking about Kenny, Graeme Atha of The Marketing Society in Scotland said: “On Wednesday this week we lost one of the great characters in our business. Kenny was a big personality and a thoroughly decent person much loved by many. He was also a respected marketer. Although his degree from the University of Glasgow was in law – his true call was in marketing communications.

"He worked with a variety of agencies over the years before going out on his own with Headsurf his creative training consultancy. Many of his skills as a communicator were honed as a stand up comedian and he regularly performed at the Edinburgh Fringe.

"Over recent years he organised a series of debates for the Marketing Society. He loved to be involved either as speaker or chair and was passionate about debating skills being an important skill for marketers. It was also a great platform for his razor sharp wit and bright mind. This year at the Edinburgh International Marketing Festival Kenny was planning to host a game show format and was very excited about it. As Kenny would want – the show goes on – and we will ensure we use this occasion as a fitting tribute to a great man."

Kenny leaves behind wife Diane and two children, Alex and Ellen.

Funeral details will follow.

Comments

28 Jun 2012 - 10:53
Mike Lynch

Kenny will be sorely missed. He was a true communicator, a patriot and very very funny. Very sad news indeed.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 10:56
Richard Draycott's picture

Very sad news. I met Kenny after joining The Drum in 1998 and he was a lovely man, full of energy, ideas and fun. In all that time I never saw him downbeat or not fully enjoying and embracing life. Taken far too soon, but then the best usually are. Rest in Peace and my thoughts are with your family Kenny.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 11:20
phil_evans's picture

Tragic news. Thoughts are with his family.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 11:20
Gordon Young's picture

A terrible shock - I can't quite imagine the Scottish marketing scene without Kenny. I will miss his humour, insights, energy, ideas and support. My thoughts are with his family.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 11:21
Ian Moore's picture

Indisputably marketing's 'King Kenny'. Our deepest condolences.

Ian + Fiona

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 11:39
G3Creative

Kenny was a great character, auritor and entertainer - he will be missed by all our old guard.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 11:41
gareth_howells's picture

Sad news.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 11:43
ianbutlin

Kenny was a great friend and mentor during a very difficult stage of my life. And even though our paths went our separate ways, he was always there to offer advice many years after I left Scotland. A true friend and will be sorely missed.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 11:49
sdavi10089's picture

So sad to hear about Kenny, a real character and key player in the Scottish marketing community. I had the pleasure of working with Kenny on quite a few occasions and remember how much fun we had, laughing and joing our way through training sessions. He really was one in a million. I just can't believe it :-( My thoughts are with Kenny's family.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 12:00
stephen_lepitak's picture

Kenny - top bloke who made everyone feel like a friend. I met him at Marketing Society events mainly over the years and each time he was on good form and very funny. Sad news. He will definitely be missed.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 12:00
neale_gilhooley's picture

Saddened to hear of the early death of such a nice guy, a real character, full of wit and fun as well as really knowing his stuff. His loss will be missed, particularly by his family and by his many friends in the industry.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 12:04
janeu10347's picture

Kenny, we'll miss you very much, just knowing you're around made the day seem much more bright and positive. The angels will be tummy tickled and laughing out loud. Love and thoughts to your family.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 12:49
delia13008's picture

Kenny was a wonderful person to work with, I'm very sad and my thoughts go out to Diane and his children. Delia Herrington

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 13:10
megapixel's picture

It's a tragic loss. Everyone here at Story's thoughts are with Diane and their amazing children. He was so very proud of his kids.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 13:35
gilli12206's picture

A beloved friend and a wonderful colleague. My thoughts and support are with Diane, Alex and Ellen and Stuart Harris.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 13:46
jillianross77

so sad & shocked. a huge loss. sincere condolences 2 diane, kids, family.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 14:31
patri98732's picture

Real shock; feel terrible. A huge space left behind. Patrick

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 14:13
iain_lauder's picture

Terribly sad news. He will be sorely missed.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 15:11
Ian Grier's picture

I lost touch with Kenny over 15 years ago. We got back in touch a month ago and were due to catch up for a coffee next week. We had so much rubbish to talk about; I was really looking forward to it. We’ll have to postpone it Kenny; take care.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 15:48
nick_ramshaw's picture

I didn't know him well, but he was obviously one of the good guys.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 16:07
mattl40401's picture

I have stolen a Kenny statement and incorporated into my own belief system - 'humour is the highest form of human intelligence'

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 16:10
alanblack's picture

A lovely bloke, who gave me a valuable leg-up as I was starting my career. Scotland is a sadder, duller place without Kenny.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 17:15
david_reid1's picture

I still can't quite believe that my friend and colleague on the Council of the National Galleries is no longer with us. I'd known Kenny for a couple of decades or more and I cannot remember a single occasion when he was not laughing, smiling and generally having a 'carry on'. You will be sorely missed Badger. We love you. David

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 18:00
cscar47806's picture

I am so shocked and deeply saddened to hear of this sad news. Kenny was one of those people that you remember for his warmth and vibrant personality. He had an engaging presence that you felt as soon as you walked into the room. He will be missed by so many members of the Professional Speakers Assocation. My condolences to all of his family.

Carole Spiers

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 18:36
annma12519's picture

So sorry to hear this sad news. I just caught up with Kenny last Saturday at the school picnic and he was so proud of his son coming second in the race and going on to play professional football for Hibs. My condolences to all his family and a fond farewell to a great character.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 20:12
Diane.young@carnyx.com's picture

So sad and shocked to hear about Kenny. He was a great guy to be around - funny and wise and full of energy. One of the big personalities of the Scottish industry is gone and will be missed.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 20:41
Iainc67771's picture

Terrible news. Kenny and I started at Maxwellton Primary on the same day in 1963 and then our lives cross-crossed -we went to see Genesis at The Apollo in a group in 75/76 And we went to the same teenage parties - until we lost touch as adults. It was great to regain contact through Facebook but we never quite made it for that pint. RIP, Kenny mate. The way you carved out your own way in life was a shining example. Cummie.

0
0
28 Jun 2012 - 23:03
brian_sharp's picture

Very sad to hear this news. He will be missed. He made me laugh at work.

0
0
29 Jun 2012 - 00:57
ianmc80522's picture

What can I say - it's all been said above. I knew Kenny both professionally and out of work - and he was a truly decent man - warm and kind. I can't imagine how his family and close friends will be coping. My thoughts and condolences go out to them. Everyone knows this just isn't right.

0
0
29 Jun 2012 - 09:29
martinwatt's picture

Very sad to hear Kenny is no longer with us. I met Kenny on several occasions through different networks and was always impressed with his communication skills and wit. He will be sorely missed.

0
0
29 Jun 2012 - 11:20
gerry11778's picture

Terribly sad news. Known Kenny for almost 40 years, since University days. A stalwart of GUU Winers' Club for all these years. Last saw him in Cornwall when he came to visit with his lovely family. Thoughts & prayers with them. Gerald ('Mick') Reilly

0
0
1 Jul 2012 - 15:29
gshon75001's picture

It's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or when the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worth cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat. Theodore Roosevelt. When I worked for you Kenny at The Marketing Store all those years ago I copied this from Theodore Roslvelt and when you asked me for a copy, I was more than happy pass on these great words. I can say that I have met many people in my life Kenny & these words written remind me of your positive get up go attitude & style, that takes me back to of those great days. God bless you Kenny. Gordon Shon. My thoughts are with Diane, Alex & Ellen

0
0
2 Jul 2012 - 16:10
Gillian West's picture

The funeral of Kenny Harris, one of Scotland’s best known and most popular marketing industry personalities, is to take place this Saturday (7 July) following his sudden death last week.

The service to be held Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh will begin at 10am (doors open from 9:45am) with a reception nearby to follow, the venue of which is yet to be confirmed.

All guests are requested to wear “a touch of pink” to help make it a colourful occasion to celebrate the life of a colourful man, donations are to be made to Diabetes UK in lieu of flowers.

0
0
3 Jul 2012 - 14:17
garyn20439's picture

Knew Kenny since the 90s when he worked with us in the Bank and have never heard a bad word said gainst him. Half man, half badger as he used to say, I'll miss him lots. To Diane and the family, please remember the good times as I'm sure that there must have been many. Sorry for your loss and sorry for all of us missing Kenny in the future. Gary Nilsen

0
0
3 Jul 2012 - 15:49
mike_donoghue's picture

Kenny's family have chosen Diabetes UK as their preferred charity in lieu of flowers. You can make a donation at www.justgiving.com/KennyHarris

0
0
4 Jul 2012 - 15:54
htorr44622's picture

Like Iain Grier knew Kenny a long time ago and never forgot the fun (way back in Castle Sales Promotion days when Iain and I were young blades in the beer trade!) We had great fun and did lots of good work and went to Kenny's shows too - Diane - from all of us here on the Ardbeg team take care xxx Hamish

0
0
6 Jul 2012 - 11:08
mark_gorman's picture

Kenny was a great, great pal. I've been away, so sorry to be adding this so late in the day. I will be there tomorrow to see off one of our Marketing Stars.

0
0
10 Jul 2012 - 16:55
will_english's picture

What a great guy and such sad news. Kenny gave me my first job at TMSW so I owe him a lot. Only two weeks ago we got in touch for the first time in years, which makes this all the more upsetting. A top bloke, I know he'll be sorely missed. Will English (a name he never failed to take the p!ss out of!)

0
0
12 Jul 2012 - 17:19
james62535's picture

I worked with Kenny in the 90's and he left a lasting impression for not only being talented but also for being an all-round genuine fun guy. It’s a sad loss for our industry but more importantly his family and friends. It shouldn’t have happened to you Kenny…

0
0
14 Jul 2012 - 23:00
pharo12545's picture

Kenny will be sorely missed by many.

0
0

Please sign in or register to comment on this article.

Latest Projects from the Profile Hub

Sports Bra Award Win

19/12/2014
Our super-star lingerie client, Wacoal Eveden, is...

Malibu - creating the perfect brand moment to enhance engagement

17/12/2014
The challenge How do you change customers’ perception of...

Driving Sales From Social During Black Friday

16/12/2014
The craze of Black Friday crossed the pond and hit the UK...

BREACH: LETS JACK

16/12/2014
‘Jack’ – the infectious track by British producer Breach...

Launching the Seasonal Cities App

15/12/2014
In Q3 2014 Rooster was tasked with launching the new travel...