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30 Under 30

By The Drum | Administrator

September 29, 2003 | 25 min read

It is their mission in life to be the very best that they can possibly be. They want to lead. they want to shine forth the bright light of knowledge and understanding in order to show us all the right way forward, the way towards business and personal success and happiness. with their help, guidance and encouragement we can all find fulfilment ... or at least the nearest wine bar or bistro. so, Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together and kindly show your appreciation for Scotland’s 30 Under 30.

The media and marketing industry is one that many only ever dream of working in. School leavers sign up to universities dreaming of making their fame and millions, while university leavers depart the educational institutes, after four hard years’ “toil”, fantasising about nothing more than paid employment.

The media and marketing industry is demanding. The industry is changing. Yet, to many, this industry remains aspirational – and those lucky enough to be working the trade often forget that.

CVs pepper the desks of managing directors all over the country, the inboxes of recruitment consultants, and the message boards of popular media magazine websites, each and every one offering a right arm in return for employment “in the media”.

Of course, not everyone makes it. Even once they have made it in.

So, with that in mind, The Drum invited bosses, colleagues, and vain individuals, all of whom are fortunate enough to be working in the industry, to nominate suitable candidates for selection in this year’s 30 under 30. The youngsters of the industry, if you will. Driven individuals, individuals who work tirelessly and have the determination to become tomorrow’s industry leaders. We are looking for those who have the ambition and the determination to succeed and those who try to put something back into the industry that they work in. People, perhaps, who not only deserve to be in the industry, but those who seem born for the job.

The Drum now introduces 30 of the young(ish) things in the industry who are living the dream, and who will, in the eyes of their peers, be the industry leaders of tomorrow.

Name: Susan Doherty

Date of Birth: 10 November 1976

Job Title: Marketing & business development manager

Company: Dowcarter

Place of birth: London. Moved home to Ireland six weeks later.

Career to date: After graduation – Galway International Arts Festival. On arriving in Scotland began working as administrator/receptionist at Dowcarter in 2000. Quickly promoted to a number of roles and currently in the role of marketing & business development manager. Involved in the acquisition of clients such as Abbey National, Channel 4, Unilever Bestfoods and Edinburgh & Lothian’s Tourist Board.

Biggest professional achievement: Being part of the team that built Dowcarter into the success that it is today.

Professional goals: Keep learning. Once that stops happening, find a new challenge.

Describe yourself in five words: Straight-talking, artistic, superstitious, passionate, driven.

Professional role model: Bob Geldof, Rosa Parks, Bill Culllen

What do you bring to your company: Energy, hard work, and a good number of clients over the last few years.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: Neither, I have an idea for a business within the creative industries (not an agency) and I’d use the cash to launch that.

Professional pet hates: Not many, most people I deal with are straightforward and professional in their dealings. Falseness usually sets me off. As does idea thievery.

Name: Martin Corrigan

Date of Birth: Gemini – 1975

Job Title: Broadcast account manager

Company: Feather Brooksbank

Place of birth: Well, I was actually born in Cheshire, but I’m definitely Scottish.

Career to date: Scot FM – sponsorship & promotions; ITV – sales executive; Feather Brooksbank – buyer to broadcast account manager.

Biggest professional achievement: Being asked back to my old university to lecture on the ins and outs of the TV marketplace ... must be doing something right.

Professional goals: Well, there is the obvious one, “to keep working in a competitive and enjoyable agency whilst continuing up the career ladder”. Or I’d quite like to write a Jerry McGuire-style memo on media. As we all know there is way too much bullsh*t within the industry, most of which is there to confuse both the competition and clients.

Describe yourself in five words: Amiable, driven, likes a beer.

Professional role model: There are a couple of people that I’ve come across in my short time in media that possess certain qualities or work ethics that I’ve admired. So I try to do a Jamie Oliver with them ... “Bung ’em all together and see what happens”.

What do you bring to your company: I’d like to think a bit of hard work and fresh thinking. If not ... then probably just my car and lunch!

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: Well, Scotland doesn’t really need another media agency and the idea of retiring seems too far away yet. I don’t think you could go far wrong training as a joiner and setting up a wee business. You’d get the job satisfaction of seeing your results immediately and have you seen the cars they drive?

Professional pet hates: One real bugbear is media accounts being won and lost over ridiculously low fees. Media must be one of the only industries where you can regularly see agencies undercutting one another to provide a client with (normally) a better service than they already receive. Accounts should be won and lost on innovative strategic media planning and buying, not on bloody 0.5 per cent. If I had to pick another, then it would be listening to both creative and media agencies treating each one another as the poor cousins of media.

Name: Lee Hempstock

Date of Birth: 10 January 1977

Job Title: Copywriter or art director with spell check

Company: Leith

Place of birth: Stockport.

Career to date: Leith ...

Biggest professional

achievement: Improving the supermarket sales of crabmeat with a beer ad. Campaign picks of the weeks.

Professional goals: To keep doing interesting work that interests me.

Describe yourself in five words: Honest, reserved, shy, quiet, consumer.

Professional role model: It depends on the profession.

What do you bring to your company: Consistency, hopefully.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: A company doing all sorts.

Professional pet hates: Ego. Arrogance. Lack of manners. Hobbies: Writing, laughing, football, a lot of pondering.

Name: Kev Towers

Date of Birth: 7 December 1977

Job Title: Sales executive

Company: SMG Television Sales

Place of birth: Dumfries.

Career to date: Started as a trainee at SMG straight from Uni before being promoted to exec.

Biggest professional achievement: Managing the largest and most demanding portfolio at SMG TV Sales.

Professional goals: To be appointed director general of the BBC.

Describe yourself in five words: Optimistic, keen, green, white, dynamite.

Professional role model: My Dad and Frank McAvennie.

What do you bring to your company: Enthusiasm, a sense of humour and a unique dress sense.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: I’d retire and buy a cardboard box in Edinburgh’s New Town.

Professional pet hates: Those in media who are London-centric. There are talented people north of the border!

Name: Keli Smyth

Date of Birth: 22 July 1976

Job Title: Account director

Company: Frame©

Place of birth: Glasgow.

Career to date: Bates Dorland, The Bridge, The Leith Agency

Biggest professional achievement: Selling Chris and Lee’s “Why go abroad?” Orangina campaign, for it to go on and win the Chairman’s award. The work was brilliant. The meeting was not.

Professional goals: To help make Frame© one of the best agencies in Scotland. To persuade Alan Frame to install air conditioning.

Describe yourself in five words: Not very keen on marzipan.

Professional role model: The Minogues. How two people (count them, TWO) can become so successful on so little talent is a constant source of inspiration/amazement to me.

What do you bring to your company: A can of worms.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: I’d start up my own agency. In New York.

Professional pet hates: Lethargy. 9-to-5-ers. Exclamation marks. Pettiness. Limp handshakes. Biscuits in meetings. Meetings about meetings. Biscuits in meetings about meetings. Meetings about biscuits. Politics. Cults.

Name: Ed Vickers

Date of Birth: 23 May 1975

Job Title: Senior designer

Company: Standard Life Investments

Place of birth: Chester.

Career to date: Four years at the Royal Bank of Scotland, the first two in Corporate Affairs as a junior designer and after that two years as design manager in Retail Banking.

Biggest professional achievement: Chief designer on the new Standard Life Investments website. Launched on 1 June 2003, it has already been listed as one of the top ten financial services sites in Europe by Kasina and short listed for website of the year by

Professional goals: To have a successful agency that’s loved by clients and respected by the industry. Oh yeah, and to be really, really rich!

Describe yourself in five words: Funny, loyal, passionate, mildly insane.

Professional role model: Jonathan Ive – vice-president of Industrial Design at Apple Computers and Designer of the Year 2003.

What do you bring to your company: Organised chaos and a friendly face.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: It’d have to be start an agency – I’m a bit of a doer, I’d get bored if I had nothing to keep me occupied.

Professional pet hates: Gratuitous self-promotion in marketing magazines!

Name: David Balfour

Date of Birth: 13 June 1980

Job Title: Brand Ambassador

Company: Colin Brough Brand Ambassadors

Place of birth: Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Career to date: July 98–May 99 – G1 Group; May 99–Oct 99 – The Taylor Agency; Nov 99–Dec 00 - Brand Ambassadors (Tennent’s Lager – Tennent’s SD – Tennent’s 5ive); Dec 00– Feb 01 – Grolsch UK, Staropramen; Feb 01–to date – head of Tennent’s team for BAs.

Biggest professional achievement: Getting Tennent’s Lager installed into a prestigious non-draught account such as Opus, Glasgow, by managing the design, production and installation of a new bar.

Professional goals: To expand the Brand Ambassadors Company from just the beer market to other sectors of the leisure industry and to head up the beer market channel of the BA team.

Describe yourself in five words: Passionate, confident, reliable, mature, committed.

Professional role model: It’s got to be Colin Brough.

What do you bring to your company: I would like to think I bring both passion and dedication to the BA team. Having been with the company for four years, I feel I also bring knowledge, which I can instil, to the other BAs.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: I would re-invest the money into the BA Company enabling us to search for new business within the spirits industry to complement our current leading brands, i.e. Tennent’s Lager, Stella Artois and Hoegaarden.

Professional pet hates: Suppliers and agencies missing deadlines and off-course disorganisation.

Name: Christopher Pothan

Date of Birth: 2 September 1980

Job Title: Stella Artois brand ambassador

Company: Brand Ambassadors

Place of birth: Glasgow.

Career to date: Brand Ambassadors

Biggest professional achievement: Raising the profile of a major brand in a number of top city centres at consumer level.

Professional goals: Making myself invaluable to the company.

Describe yourself in five words: Honest, ambitious, direct, fun, loyal.

Professional role model: Don’t really have one.

What do you bring to your company: Straight talking.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: Start my own agency.

Professional pet hates: Slow laptops and people not returning calls.

Name: Chris Landy

Date of Birth: 26 October 1976

Job Title: Creative

Company: The Leith Agency

Place of birth: Chinley (Manchester).

Career to date: Mother, 1576, The Leith.

Biggest professional achievement: Getting in last year’s IPA best of the best.

Professional goals: Do better.

Describe yourself in five words: Loose cannon, fit, hard, cool ... errr, did I say fit?

Professional role model: Stephen Hawking.

What do you bring to your company: Ask Phil Adams.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: Not in today’s market, mate. Take the money and keep your job.

Professional pet hates: People who bullshit their way in to jobs.

Name: Dr Aydin Kurt-Elli

Date of Birth: 12 September 1973

Job Title: CEO

Company: edNET

Place of birth: Eastbourne

Career to date: Junior doctor, ran edNET on a part-time basis whilst student and JHO (Junior House Officer), then full time as CEO of edNET, Lightershade (the Web consultancy) and the new voice and VoIP division nPlusOne.

Biggest professional achievement: Building a growing, profitable group of technology companies during one of the worst boom and bust cycles ever – and to maintain that growth through organic re-investment and hard graft!

Professional goals: To mature and professionalise as a manager through the growth of our group of companies in the coming years.

Describe yourself in five words: Impatient, astute, dogmatic, enthusiastic, and interested!

Professional role model: Barbara Cassani – her understanding of managing a business and growing a retail brand holds me in awe.

What do you bring to your company: Vision and drive, with an occasional dash of technical nous!

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: Retire on £500,000 – are you mad?!!

Professional pet hates: Buzzwords, management over-engineering of processes, inflexibility.

Name: Pauline Shaw

Date of Birth: 9 January 1975

Job Title: Marketing manager

Company: Matthews Marketing

Place of birth: Glasgow

Career to date: Youth trainee, Glasgow City Council; Children’s services assistant, Glasgow City Libraries; Advertising assistant, Glasgow City Council PR department; Marketing assistant, Glasgow City Council PR department; Marketing assistant, Braehead Shopping Centre; Assistant marketing manager, Braehead Shopping Centre; Marketing manager, Matthews marketing.

Biggest professional achievement: Being involved in the launch of Braehead and being headhunted to be marketing manager at Matthews Marketing.

Professional goals: To continue working towards the success of Matthews Marketing and who knows – I may be a director by the time I’m 30!

Describe yourself in five words: Practical, versatile, sociable, optimistic, bubbly.

Professional role model: Carol Matthews, director of Matthews Marketing.

What do you bring to your company: Experience, enthusiasm, energy and a smile.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: Invest in the company I’m in (I’m confident of the potential) but I’d treat myself to a first-class around-the-world ticket!

Professional pet hates: Being late.

Name: Louise Taylor

Date of Birth: 15 March 1974

Job Title: Project director

Company: Hookson

Career to date: Project manager, Tayburn 1998–2001; Project director; Hookson 2001–to date.

Biggest professional

achievement: I successfully project managed a multi-disciplinary team on a brand development programme for a new luxury brand involving graphic identity, visual identity, literature, advertising and interiors within a short timeframe. The new brand was launched with success and targets were exceeded in sales and business objectives.

Professional goals: To play a fundamental role in Hookson that will lead to our continued success and the success of the companies that we work with.

Describe yourself in five words: Dedicated, ambitious, conscientious, honest and modest.

Professional role model: Sir Richard Branson; he’s achieved great things under great pressure and adversity.

What do you bring to your company: I hope that my dedicated, ambitious and honest approach brings energy, inspiration and enthusiasm to my colleagues. I bring an objective approach and always try to look at things from an unbiased viewpoint.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: Certainly not retirement on £500,000 – perhaps if there were another few zeros. I also have no reason to start my own agency, as I am already part of something that is new, exciting and definitely going places.

Professional pet hates: Failure to meet deadlines, lack of communication.

Name: James Jefferson

Date of Birth: 17 May 1974

Job Title: Creative director

Company: The Equator Group

Place of birth: Welwyn Garden City.

Career to date: Started a freelance company straight out of college, got bored of doing my own accounts. Started Equator and got a proper accountant.

Biggest professional achievement: I am proud to say that as a central part of our success my concepts and design work has helped us win clients like Unilever, Bourne Leisure, and Radisson Hotels this year alone.

Professional goals: One day we'll have our own skyscraper.

Describe yourself in five words: 5’11”, medium build, brown hair.

Professional role model: There is a time when one needs to create one’s own future rather than follow in the footsteps of another.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: How about starting a satellite office of Equator in Whistler?

Professional pet hates: TWAs

Name: David Cunningham

Date of Birth: 13 June 1977

Job Title: Marketing & events officer, University of Dundee; director, Trigger Events Ltd

Place of birth: Edinburgh.

Career to date: Vice-president (Communications), Dundee University Students’ Association; president, Dundee University Students’ Association; president, Northern Services Trading Association; marketing & events officer, University of Dundee; director, Trigger Events Ltd.

Biggest professional achievement: Successfully setting up my own company. Although currently still very small, we’re surpassing even our own optimistic projections and carrying out over 100 per cent more PR and media support work than we had planned for in our first six months.

Professional goals: Getting our company off the ground and developing throughout the North/North East of Scotland as an initial priority. The marketing support we offer is good but we need time and good people to help it fulfil its potential.

Describe yourself in five words: I like perfection – no excuses.

Professional role model: I think I’d have to say Stuart Clumpas. Not just because he organised T in the Park but because he managed it in such a way that everybody wanted to go, no matter if they were 14 or 40. The branding and sponsorship is stunning and the length of the sponsorship deal highlight the success of the brand.

What do you bring to your company: Energy and freshness. Just because something’s always been done this way doesn’t mean it has to be done this way for evermore.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: I’d invest wholly in my company.

Professional pet hates: Nothing puts me off a company more than bad service. Nine times out of ten the very poorly paid receptionist or telephonist is the most important person in setting impressions of your company and nine times out of ten they get it wrong!

Name: Matt Broadgate

Date of Birth: 13 October 1974

Job Title: Director

Company: Gorilla PR

Place of birth: Staffordshire.

Career to date: Worked as a PR assistant at “The End” nightclub and sister company “a.k.a bar” in London’s West End. Joined Jackie Cooper PR (London) in 2000, where I worked on consumer campaigns, including the launch of PlayStation 2 and Mars re-branding. Moved to Glasgow in 2002, where I worked at 3x1.

Biggest professional achievement: Pitched, won and organised Jamiroquai’s after-show party on behalf of a London client.

Professional goals: To be the agency that everybody wants to work for.

Describe yourself in five words: Creative, industrious, relentless, personable, fair.

Professional role model: Sir Alex Ferguson.

What do you bring to your company: Everything – I’m it!

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: I’d get a bigger office and give myself a pay rise

Professional pet hates: Inflated egos and scapegoating.

Name: Martin Reynolds

Date of Birth: 30 November 1975

Job Title: Press & marketing manager

Company: Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Place of birth: Ashbourne, England.

Career to date: Press assistant, Traverse Theatre; Press & marketing assistant, Edinburgh Festival Fringe; Press & marketing officer, Edinburgh Festival Fringe; Press & marketing manager, Edinburgh Festival Fringe; I also sit on the Strategic Development Committee of the Scottish Arts Council.

Biggest professional achievement: Being one of the first arts marketers to implement real-time, online ticketing. As a result, our ticket sales have increased dramatically – we now sell 60 per cent more tickets than before, and this year we sold over one million tickets for the first time ever.

Professional goals: To keep working in environments where you can go as far as you want to, rather than as far as they need you to go.

Describe yourself in five words: Energetic, dedicated, creative, thorough, sociable.

Professional role model: A difficult one, but if it’s “whose job would I like in the future?”, then it’s Pete Irvine of Unique Events. Through producing events such as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the up-coming MTV satellite events, he shows Scotland how to market itself on good times rather than golf.

What do you bring to your company: New ideas and a very bad CD collection.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: I’d start my own PR and marketing agency dedicated to international entertainment and events. After travelling the world with my company, I would then decide where I’d like to retire to.

Professional pet hates: Suppliers whose first reaction is to negate their responsibility rather get it sorted when the proverbial hits the fan.

Name: Keavy McMinn

Date of Birth: 18 November 1976

Job Title: Director

Company: Minimetre

Place of birth: Ireland.

Career to date: Set up Minimetre in 2001.

Biggest professional achievement: Setting up my own company.

Professional goals: To achieve a level of commercial and creative success that will enable me to expand my company.

Describe yourself in five words: Enthusiastic, determined, creative, sociable, reliable.

Professional role model: Hillman Curtis – because he has achieved commercial and creative success, industry respect and remains a modest, friendly and decent guy.

What do you bring to your company: Creativity and professionalism.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: Well I already have my own company.

Professional pet hates: Design that makes me work/think too much.

Name: Justine Watt

Date of Birth: 27 December 1973

Job Title: Online business development manager

Company: Scotsman Publications

Place of birth: Dumfriesshire.

Career to date: My first proper job (1999) was with The List magazine as sales person and then onto senior sales. In 2001, I moved to the Scotsman Publications senior sales within the agency team. I had an 8-week stint as agency sales manager this year with SIRS but found myself back within Barclay House eight weeks ago employed within the Dot-com division.

Biggest professional achievement: Pitching creative use of our magazine’s TV pages to family for Martin and Frost. A brand, spanking new idea, Family ran with it and created consecutive ads that won the Grand Prix at this year’s Roses Awards and has been nominated at the forthcoming Newspaper Society Awards.

Professional goals: I would like to be able to persuade more Scottish agencies and their clients to use online advertising as part of their media schedule. I would like to direct the next Scotsman TV commercial where I write myself a part that involves Tony Perez (the Spanish actor) and I running away to Madrid together.

Describe yourself in five words: Enthusiastic, adminphobic, funny coloured eyes.

Professional role model: Robin Hodge, publisher of The List magazine for so many professional reasons but including his infamous Courtyard Roast Pig Party and for still taking the dustbins out himself.

What do you bring to your company: “Insight, creativity and enthusiasm and a little va-va voom” Richard Bogie.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: Speak to a far more successful friend and get his £500,000 too. My idea is in Candy Floss. I am not joking. I do have an idea and I genuinely believe it could work.

Professional pet hates: Rigid business dress rules, fluffy desk stickers, “funny” mobile phone tones, accounts queries.

Name: James Peter Jeffreys

Date of Birth: 5 August 1974

Job Title: Producer

Company: Mallinson Television Productions

Place of birth: Ashington.

Career to date: MTP since 1997

Biggest professional achievement: Produced commercials for Scottish Executive, Grolsch, Quality Meat Scotland.

Professional goals: Make a feature film of the Broons.

Describe yourself in five words: The icing on the cake.

Professional role model: The Magnificent Seven.

What do you bring to your company: Myself.

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: Make a feature film of the Broons.

Professional pet hates: People who don’t say thank you.

Name: Toby Southgate

Date of Birth: 12 January 1977

Job Title: Associate director

Company: Navyblue

Place of birth: London

Career to date: While at university, I worked for an e-commerce news publisher that was probably Scotland’s first true internet company, tried my hand at investment banking in the City after university, then came back to Edinburgh as MD of newsbase. Also set up First Tuesday in Scotland with Ian Gardiner and Ross Laurie, which we ran for a year or so before Gordon MacIntyre Kemp took over to try and inject some commercial realism to proceedings. I joined Navyblue at the start of 2002 and haven’t looked back since.

Biggest professional achievement: Not sure many 26-year-olds could honestly claim a big professional achievement – I’m looking forward to it.

Professional goals: To help build an agency that becomes recognised as world-class. To attract the best people, the best clients, have the happiest and best-rewarded staff. To own some of it. I still want to buy a Ferrari and a BIG boat. To spend an extortionate amount of money on frivolity, then do it all over again.

Describe yourself in five words: Competitive, strategic, ambitious, charming, chubby.

Professional role model: Tom Hunter, Andrew Carnegie, Eddie Irvine.

What do you bring to your company: A good line in bad gags, commercial acumen, as much golf as possible, strategic input, wordly ways, GSOH, WLTM ... sorry, it’s not that sort of survey is it?

You have £500,000 – do you start your own agency/company or retire: That wouldn’t even cover the boat, so there’s no way I could retire.

Professional pet hates: Competitors that PR the opening of a can of coke. Tardiness. Gadget freaks (guilty). Missing flights. The fact that there aren’t 48 hours in a day.


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