"Scotland is as likely to turn up brilliant creative work as anywhere on the planet," remarked Watermill owner and judge at the Scottish Creative Awards.
With entry extensions now being offered for this year's event – which celebrates the best creativity north of the border and is open to advertising, design, digital, integrated and PR agencies as well as in-house marketing and creative teams from client companies – Waters told The Drum that the real challenge is not location, instead it "lies in finding the clients who want to buy that top quality product".
Waters added: "Physical location is really unimportant in the digital age. We routinely use people in other countries on projects and the kind of work that gets noticed and passed around is equally democratic. Just look a Onepointfour, the film-a-day blog, it features work from everywhere, the only common link is it's all exceptionally good."
Fellow judge Tribal Worldwide, London ECD Simon Poett echoes Waters thoughts, commenting that "creative talent isn't exclusive to just a handful of cities" but admits that a "geographical prejudice still exists in this industry".
Despite technology enabling smaller counties like Scotland to compete on a national, or even international, scale Poett labels it a "double edged sword" as though it "levels the playing field" it has meant that "everyone has to up their game."
"Thinkers and creators now come from everywhere and quite often a mind that hasn't been filled and conditioned with conventional answers will often have the most interesting point of view," Poett said.
On whether or not Scottish agencies are able to keep a hold of the best creative talent both judges agreed that it can be "hard hanging onto top talent anywhere" but if the "work and the opportunities are good enough" then there is no reason that the talent in Scotland shouldn't be just as good as anywhere else.
"It's hard to deny that London has been a 'centre of gravity' for agencies and clients for a long while," Poett explained. "However, I think we are seeing an increasing change in mindset. From individuals who want things on their terms. whether that be independent creatives or talent within an agency structure."
With judging set to happen in July, Waters warned those entering this year that "all the judges will be looking for something unexpected" with Poett on the look out for "great insights and brilliant ideas" advising entrants to "make it real, make it connected, make it great."
Joining Waters and Poett on the judging panel are OgilvyOne creative director Aaron Goldring; design director at Rapp, Adrian Whatman; Clare McDonald, Rosetta ECD; Havas Worldwide London creative director Dom Gettins; marketing director at Chicago Leisure, Jae Hopkins; Cube3 founder and CEO Karl Barker; Martin Muir, StartJG head of art, and Paul Hudson global marketing consultant at RSA.
Extensions are available now for the Scottish Creative Awards and more information on how to enter can be found on the Scottish Creative Awards website. The awards take place at Glasgow's Marriott Hotel on Thursday 9 October.