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Christmas Feature Scotland

Scottish Marketing Association

By The Drum | Administrator

June 16, 2005 | 5 min read

Last week saw many of the Scottish media and marketing industry’s professional and trade bodies gather together under the auspices of a new group set up as part of the Scottish Marketing Association (SMA). The new group – being dubbed the Scottish Marketing Assembly – is a working group of senior members of the media and marketing community that lead their respective trade or professional organisation and are keen to look at ways of working together on various initiatives that will help build the overall marketing industry in Scotland.

The first meeting of the Scottish Marketing Assembly took place at the office of The Scotsman in Edinburgh, last Wednesday, and the SMA’s co-founder, Gordon Young, and chairman, Graeme Atha, got proceedings underway at 10am.

As the picture opposite shows, many of the best-known faces were present at the meeting and showed a genuine desire to work together with other organisations for the greater good of Scotland’s media and marketing community, which has been under fire from clients taking business South, falling marketing budgets and globalisation for some years now.

Pictured are those that were in attendance, from left to right, are Graeme Atha of SMA, Graham Duffy of Graphic Partners, Sara Robertson of Scottish IPA, Chris Terris of Publicity Club of Glasgow, Phil Adams of IPA, Nick Creed of PPA Scotland, June Edgar of Scottish Enterprise’s Creative Industries, Lyn Cherrington of Edinburgh Publicity Club, Sarah Emslie of Marketing Society of Scotland, Claire Thomson of Chartered Institute of Marketing, Gordon Young of SMA, Kathy Crawford of PPA Scotland, Jo Scobie of DMA, Kevin Williamson and Brian McLaren of Ekos, John Brown of CIPR, Diane Canning of SMA and Mairi Clark of The Drum. Other organisations that showed interest in attending the meeting, but were unable to send a delegate included the Design Business Association, Scottish Publishers Association, Scottish Daily Newspaper Society, CIB and, the new group which aims to represent the interests of the Scottish radio sector, Scottish Radio.

The morning session consisted of brief presentations given by the heads of the professional bodies present during which they outlined the size of their organisation’s membership in Scotland, their aims and objectives and any forthcoming initiatives, in the form of events, awards and conferences, that they run for the benefit of their members.

Research company Ekos was present at the meeting to outline the research it is doing for Scottish Enterprise, Scottish IPA and the 20 other contributing parties to the project that aims to identify the size of the marketing industry in Scotland, and allow professional organisations such as the ones present at the meetings to get a handle on where their members fit into the bigger picture.

Brian McLaren of Ekos also appealed for all the organisations present to encourage their members to visit the website and take part in this important research process by completing the online questionnaire. McLaren said he expects that the findings of the research will be available in July or August, and then it was agreed by many of the professional bodies that this gathering could look at how to move forward and use the information gained from the research study for the good of all concerned.

During a lunch buffet people used that time to network and talk more intimately about the various aims and objectives of each other’s organisations. The overriding theme that came out during these talks were that many organisations are duplicating what each other are doing, and there was a general feeling that by working together in some way – possibly under the auspices of the Scottish Marketing Assembly – they could achieve more for Scotland and Scottish marketing businesses. And to demonstrate the potential power and influence that the organisations at the meeting wield, here follows a breakdown of their membership:


30 corporate members

Chairman: Graeme Atha

Marketing Society of Scotland

220 individual members in Scotland

Scottish chairman: Bill Farer, Edrington


14 corporate members in Scotland

Scottish chairman: Nick Ramshaw, Elmwood


2,500 individual members in Scotland

Scottish director: Carl Gardiner

Scottish IPA

19 member agencies in Scotland

Scottish chairman: Phil Adams, The Leith Agency


700 individual members in Scotland

Scottish chairman: John Brown


72 individual members in Scotland

Scottish director: Jo Scobie

PPA Scotland

25 corporate members in Scotland

Scottish president: Nick Creed, Carnyx Group

Publicity Club of Glasgow

200 individual, corporate and associate members

President: Chris Terris, Viacom Outdoor

Edinburgh Publicity Club

120 individual, corporate and associate members

President: Emma Murray Smith, Feather Brooksbank

The next meeting of the Scottish Marketing Assembly is scheduled to take place in August, after the Scottish Enterprise research is published. If you would like your organisation to be involved please contact Diane Canning on 0121 332 3255 or e-mail

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