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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says advertisers & marketers must 'work harder' to retain business within the country

By Stephen Lepitak | -

March 1, 2016 | 4 min read

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has admitted that the country needs to "work harder" to retain business, especially within the advertising and marketing community.

Speaking at WACL about female leadership and her views on what it takes to empower more women to lead, Sturgeon also accepted questions from the audience, answering The Drum when asked about the decline witnessed within the Scottish marketing and advertising industry over the last decade.

She agreed that there had been a decline and remarked that this was despite leading a political heading into an election.

"We're trying to give business to advertisers and marketers in Scotland" Sturgeon remarked before stating that it was a business issue wider than the advertising sector itself.

"It's a phenomenon that increases every year from the legal profession in Scotland, the accountancy profession which has the decision making centres and as many companies move south, then so too does the supporting centres that these companies use. My view is that we have to work as hard as we can to reverse that and encourage and incentivise and persuade companies to keep their key decision makers in Scotland," Sturgeon stated before adding that an independent Scotland would have more powers to retain business, but that as a devolved country it also needed to convey the country as a "good place" to do business.

"I obviously get very frustrated when I hear talk of the northern powerhouse and I always think that we have a northern powerhouse and it's called Scotland and it's a great place to live and to work and to do business - that is a key challenge for us."

In addressing the members of WACL, Sturgeon was enthusiastic in her view of the work being carried out by the organisation in pushing forward gender equality in the marketing services industry and stated her belief that women leaders were held to "different standards" which could only be changed once a "critical mass" of positive remake role models was reached.

She also briefly discussed the impending EU referendum, which has drawn many parallels with the Scottish Independence referendum in 2014 and warned against negative campaigning, adding that in doing so a "positive legacy of democratic engagement" could be left.

Image courtesy of Bronac McNeil

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