Tributes have poured from across the advertising industry following the passing of Murray Calder, a distinguished marketer and friend to many in the marketing strategy Twitter community.
A fellow of The Marketing Society and a previous chair of the IPA Scotland, Calder had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had been using Twitter to share his experience with the disease with honesty, humility and humour as @ScotsStratGuy, where he styled himself as a ‘The Captain’.
Calder established himself as a marketing maestro in the whisky business through work on The Macallan and Highland Park brands, culminating in his elevation as marketing manager for The Famous Grouse. This success propelled him into the role of chief strategy officer at MediaCom Edinburgh.
A founding member of The Marketing Society Scotland Council and a former president of IPA Scotland, Calder was never happier than when applying his boundless energy and enthusiasm for overseeing strategic planning across advertising, media and marketing.
Outside of work Calder’s other great love was music, spinning the decks at his popular virtual nightclub Strut! as a way to unwind. Broadening this hobby further Calder entertained many on Twitter with his Spotify playlists and recently curated a playlist of love with help from the industry to support Maggie’s Centres, which had supported him through diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Conceived by Sera Holland, co-founder of Fawnbrake, the charitable campaign invites those who knew Calder to donate via a dedicated JustGiving page and choose their song to add to the playlist.
Tributes from across the advertising industry – from those who knew Murray personally and those who had cultivated friendships with him online – have been flooding in over the weekend:
Murray passed peacefully in his sleep, at home surrounded with his family. Due to restrictions, there will be a small funeral ceremony, but there are obviously plans for an epic celebration to happen when we all can.
— Lynsey Calder (@daftweepal) April 5, 2021
Now that the family has made @ScotStratGuy's passing last night official, I want to express my sincere condolences. Murray was one of the best people in our industry, an absolute gentleman and someone whose humanity had a profound effect on all those who knew him. Irreplaceable.
— JP Castlin (@JPCastlin) April 5, 2021
The illness didn’t define him. He defined the illness. That’s power, beauty & grace. Miss you mate.
— Rob Campbell (@Robertc1970) April 5, 2021
Murray was a brilliant mind, who I was lucky enough to get to know here & connect through music, a dark sense of humour & shits n giggles. His humanity will always stick with me. Even as his condition worsened he was offering me support in my own lesser struggles.
— John Lyons (@johnnieego) April 5, 2021
Oh no, I am so sorry to hear this. Like many on here, I never met Murray in person but was drawn to him on Twitter, because of his extraordinary good humour, wisdom and charisma. What an absolutely amazing human being. Sending love to you and all Murray’s family.
— Andy Nairn (@andynairn) April 5, 2021
Heartbroken. Love from Colorado to you and the family Lynsey - Murray was such an inspiration and bright light, especially during this pandemic, and he remains a fucking legend. Oh Captain, my Captain - you will be missed.
— Jake Sanders (@POSMarketer) April 5, 2021
Calder is survived by his wife Emma, a talented graphic designer with whom he ran The Makery in Dunbar, and 10-year-old daughter Sorcha.
To commemorate the life and work of Calder, those from the marketing community are being invited to send a personal tribute on Friday at 6pm by raising a glass of their favoured tipple while listening to a song that brings them joy. Those taking part are being asked to tag their @ScotStratGuy tribute photos with #CheersCaptain.