Your Noon Briefing: Bill Lothian, Neil MacPhail, etc

THE Edinburgh Evening News sports reporter, Bill Lothian, is leaving, after 44 years with the company, all but two of them on the paper’s sports desk.

Bill is taking advantage of a voluntary redundancy offer to staff and is expected to leave between now and the end of March.

A champion of grassroots sport, he is arguably best known as the paper’s rugby correspondent, these last 33 years.

It is estimated he has worked under nine editors at the Edinburgh Evening News, and 11 sports editors.

He announced his taking redundancy, last night on his twitter account, here.

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MARKETING budgets have increased for the ninth successive quarter-year but at a slower rate, according to a long-established survey produced by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

And, says the latest IPA Bellwether Report, published today: “Despite this loss of growth momentum, which stems from heightened caution regarding the slowdown in the wider economy, the average growth rate for marketing budgets in 2014 was the highest recorded in the survey’s 15-year history.”

Continues the report, there was “a net balance +6.1 per cent of companies registering an increase in budgets during Q4 2014, down from +12.6 per cent in Q3 2014 and its lowest since Q1 2013″.

The IPA news announcement of the report quotes Claire Wood, IPA chair for Scotland, and planning director, The Leith Agency, as saying: “I’m delighted to report that 2014 saw the highest growth in marketing expenditure recorded since the Bellwether report was first produced fifteen years ago. With confidence levels high, the planned increase in marketing budgets for 2015 is more pronounced again than anything we’ve seen in recent years.

“Interestingly, and reflecting the importance of digital activity to our agenda at the IPA in Scotland, digital [online advertising] continues to be the strongest performing category in the last quarter of 2014, reflecting a continued appreciation of the opportunity for targeted and measurable activity in this environment.

“The mood in the business community in Scotland is broadly optimistic. Bank of Scotland research charts ongoing economic growth in December last year with further growth predicted for the first six months of this year.

“Amid some uncertainty about oil prices, the export market for Scotland and the forthcoming election, the outlook isn’t universally rosy but we’re optimistic that conditions will be less tough for businesses across the country than we’ve seen in recent years.”

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BEGINS The Press and Journal: “One of The Press and Journal’s veteran journalists is to be honoured for his contribution to journalism.

“Neil MacPhail, the north news editor based in Inverness, is to receive the Barron Trophy [for services to journalism in the Highlands and Islands] in recognition of his lifelong achievement.”

Read more, here. And also here, on

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BEGINS an announcement from PR agency, Frank PR: “Frank PR, one of the most successful consumer PR consultancies in the UK over the last decade, has announced the opening of its Glasgow office with the launch of McFrank.

“McFrank, Frank’s third UK office, will extend the agency’s award-winning work outside the M25 and is headed by Glaswegian, Claire Morrison.”

The story is picked up the media and marketing magazine, The Drum, here.

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BEGINS the Dundee-based newspapers, magazines and comics publisher, DC Thomson: “DC Thomson Consumer Products today announces that The Beano Annual 2015 is the number one annual [according to Nielsen BookData] in the UK and one of the best-selling children’s Christmas books of 2014.

“Following a spectacular 13-week takeover event at London’s St Pancras International and an extensive marketing campaign in the lead up to Christmas, DC Thomson Consumer Products today confirmed that the iconic Beano Annual has secured the highly coveted No.1 spot, yet again.”

Read more, here.

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BEGINS a media release posted on “Integrated communications agency Citrus:Mix has a new managing director at the helm as the growing Aberdeen-based business prepares for the next phase in its development.

“Paul Smith has been promoted to the role as he succeeds Morven Mackenzie, who remains with the firm in a strategic role and as a major shareholder and board member. She will also be working on new developments within the Jasmine Group of companies, of which Citrus:Mix is a member.”

Read more, here.

P.S. Citrus:Mix is one of several clients who use to share their stories (and those of their clients), for as little as £5 per media release. For more information, click here.

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