Mandate issued to grow Scottish marketing and advertising sector

SCOTTISH buyers of marketing and advertising services who prefer London agencies ahead of home-based talent can expect to be the first to be targeted by a group comprising some of Scotland’s best-known names in marketing and advertising.

Following the inaugural meeting of the Scottish Marketing Communications Action Group (SMCAG), held yesterday in Edinburgh, a 20-strong team has been mandated to fashion a new era for the marketing and advertising industry in Scotland.

It follows research which estimates that only 25 per cent of Scotland-based marketing and advertising business goes to Scottish companies, most of the rest ending up in London.

Without yet reaching the stage of forming a committee or drawing up a constitution, 20 volunteers from the 60-strong audience offered to assist in SMCAG’s evolution “from base camp to the next stage”.

Lobbying of government and the media was among a number of possible early objectives of the group.

Crucially, at yesterday’s meeting, representatives of various organisations already representing parts of the sector, such as the Scottish Marketing Association, declared their willingness to take a lead from SMCAG.

One of the key figures in SMCAG is Mark Gorman, former managing director of communications agency, 1576, now working as a consultant.

Also volunteering to assist SMCAG progress were Ian Wright, of ad agency, Family; Neil Reynolds of online designers, Emperor Interactive; Peter Nowell, of Marketing Heads; Gerry Farrell, of communications agency, Leith; Sean Duffy, of SMG, owners of stv; Andy McArthur, of marketeers, IAS Smarts; Mark Cuthbert, of researchers, Progressive Partnership; David Watson, of advertising agency, Bridge; Lynne Dickson and Brian Williams of Big Picture ad agency; John Denholm of recruitment consultants, Denholm Associates; Ken Dixon, of ad agency, Newhaven; Andy Crummey, of Agency Assessments International management consultants to the advertising communications industry; Angela Casey, of PR folk, Porter Novelli; Marie Storrar, of Spring Corporation, digital communications designers; Ross Laurie, of Line Marketing, digital communications specialists; Jo Scobie, of the Direct Marketing Association (Scotland); and Sara Robertson, of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (Scotland).

Approaches are to be made to Jenifer Stirton of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (Scotland) and to Nick Ramshaw, at designers, Elmwood.

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See accompanying Opinion piece, ‘Publicise, publicise, publicise’ at bottom of Spike.