Scottish Advertising Awards 2004

By The Drum, Administrator

November 4, 2004 | 5 min read

Has the balance of power in Scottish advertising creativity shifted once and for all as The Union cements its position at the top of the Scottish Creative League for the third successive year?

It has been an impressive and relatively swift rise to fame for The Union, which, like every other Scottish advertising agency, has been forced to play second fiddle to The Leith Agency’s creative prowess for so many years.

Only in 2001 The Union was languishing way down the creative hierarchy, collecting just a single Scottish Advertising Award, compared to The Leith Agency, which took to the stage 15 times to accept awards on that particular night.

But in 2002 The Union began its run of success at the Scottish Advertising Awards when it finally toppled The Leith Agency from its creative throne when it won 10 awards, compared to The Leith’s seven. Perhaps few believed The Union could continue that run of creative form but a year later, at the Scottish Advertising Awards 2003, The Union again topped the Creative League, winning nine awards compared to The Leith Agency’s two awards.

2004 sees The Union score its creative hat-trick and, if this year’s Advertising Creative League were the Scottish Premier league, the SFA might just be considering handing The Union the league trophy ten months early and giving everyone the rest of the season off as it romped home with an unassailable lead.

The Union’s creative department, headed up by industry stalwart Andrew Lindsay, collected a total of 23 accolades on the night: 10 awards and 13 commendations, including the coveted Chairman’s Award, for its simple, yet beautiful, Loch Ness Marathon work for Baxter’s.

Other winning work included its “Nursery” TV commercial for by Don Smith and Michael Hart, its National Galleries outdoor campaign by David Aylesbury and Martin Hartley and its Vladivar Vodka TV commercial, starring Har Mar Superstar and the word “cock”, created by Mark Williams and Adam Smith.

The Union’s monster haul was more than twice that of its closest rival, Newhaven, which collected a total of five awards and six commendations. However, Newhaven did collect the top award of the night, The Scottish Advertising Awards Grand Prix, for its “What The Faro” campaign for Tennent’s Lager, (pictured opposite), which was voted by the judging panel as its favourite piece of work of the year.

Billy Mawhinney of JWT London headed up this year’s judging panel and he was joined at the judging session by Mike Black of Brahm, Brendan Wilkins of dfgw and Richard Selbourne of Leo Burnett.

1576 came third this year, up five places from last year, with three awards and three commendations. After a year of change at the agency, which saw David Reid take over as managing director and leave the creative reins in the capable hands of Adrian Jeffery, 1576 enjoyed success with its ambient advertising work for the National Trust for Scotland and the National Museums of Scotland.

Alan Frame’s Frame© is also carving out a good creative reputation for itself and is a name to watch in the future. Frame©’s creative department, headed up by Martin Gillan and Doug Cook, picked up awards for its “McBlaine” ad for the Sunday Mail and its TV work for Dundee University - scooping three out of the five TV categories.

Arc Worldwide and The Bridge both collected two awards on the night, Arc winning for its Belhaven Brewery posters and The Bridge winning for its “Smoke Animals” TV ads for NHS Health Scotland.

Family, the now defunct Bond, MMI Limone, The Leith Agency, Marr Associates and Story all collected a single award on the night, with Citigate SMARTS, Merle and One O’Clock Gun picking up commendations.

So has the balance of creative power shifted from The Leith to The Union? Is this just the beginning of The Union’s creative dominance in Scottish advertising? See the following pages as The Drum’s deputy editor, Gordon Laing talks to Andrew Lindsay.

Another question is, can The Leith Agency hit back at The Union and regain its creative crown? Well, with the recent deal done with the Cello Group that will see The Leith become part of a £25m marketing group, the future does look bright. Even despite failing to set the world on fire at the Advertising Awards, The Leith is still viewed by its peers as the premier advertising business in Scotland, as our Advertising Agency of the Year review shows, based on business performance, peer perception and standard of work.

Whether The Leith can again become Scotland’s premier creative force will remain to be seen.


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