3×1 takes controlling interest in MMM

ONE of Scotland’s best-known PR agencies has acquired a controlling interest in a rival, founded by former Sunday Mail political editor, Lindsay McGarvie, and former BBC network news Scotland correspondent, John Morrison.

3×1 Public Relations has taken a majority stake in MMM, aka McGarvie Morrison Media, which was set up six years ago and includes, among its clients, drinks giant Diageo, Heriot-Watt University and IT services provider, Atos.

In a statement announcing the move, 3×1 director, Cameron Grant, is quoted as saying: “We’re thrilled to be starting 2012 with a further expansion of our business. 2011 was another positive year as we recorded double-digit growth and this investment will help it to continue with turnover set to exceed £2,000,000 in 2012.

“With Lindsay and his team’s public affairs, corporate PR and media training expertise this acquisition underlines our commitment to being able to provide our clients with the highest quality service in Scotland and further afield and builds on the launch of our digital, sport and food and drink divisions in 2011.”

The price of the stake is being kept under wraps.

Both companies will continue to operate separately providing specialist support to each other when needed. Morrison has left MMM to pursue other interests, but it is understood he and McGarvie will continue to work together on occasional future media training.

3×1 was founded in 2001 by Julie McGarvey and Grant, is in PR Week’s Top 150 PR agencies in the UK (at 134, with only three other Scots companies – BIG, Smarts and Stripe – in it) and has won the Scottish Consultancy Team of the Year title four times at the Chartered Institute of PR (Scotland) Awards. It has a team of 20 based between its Edinburgh and Glasgow offices.

Its clients include Highland Spring, Camelot, Macdonald Hotels, Baxters, Seafish, Mactaggart & Mickel and Lothian Buses.

MMM is five-strong.

McGarvie is also quoted in the statement, saying: “3×1 is a company that I have admired from my days as a journalist and I am delighted that MMM is to become part of the 3×1 group. This will help to further strengthen MMM, which is great news for our clients going forward.”