Ad boss bids to re-energise industry in Scotland


by Rona Mackay
A perceived decline in the advertising industry in Scotland – including talent moving south and young members of staff notable by their absence at industry gatherings – is to be met by a ‘re-energising agenda’ of engagement and collaboration by the newly-elected chair of the industry’s trade body in Scotland.

Murray Calder, a director at media planning and buying agency, MediaCom Edinburgh, also used his inaugural speech last night as chair of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (Scotland) to pledge increased dialogue with the Scottish Government.

Calder succeeds Ken Dixon of the Newhaven Agency and will be in post for two years.

He said: “It’s easy to sit around and moan about the decline of the advertising industry in Scotland isn’t it? But what are we actually going to do about it? It’s our industry, our community and I say it’s time we all got stuck in and did more to change things for the better.”

His agenda includes plans to engage more with the digital sector and collaborate more with universities and colleges.

The work of the IPA is to be promoted more vigorously, both its professional and social functions, and Calder will be seeking to strengthen links with other marketing bodies in Scotland, including the Marketing Society and the Edinburgh International Marketing Festival, which launched last year.

Until five years ago, Murray’s career was in food and drink, including The Macallan Glenlivit plc, The Edrington Group and Baxters. At MediaCom Edinburgh, he has responsibility for new business and marketing.

He added: “I think my agenda for the next two years is pretty simple and straightforward – a more frequent and more relevant programme of engagement with both current and prospective IPA members and a more collaborative approach between those bodies in Scotland who have an influence on the industry. But I, indeed the IPA, can’t change the fortunes of the Scottish advertising industry alone. It’ll take all of us working together to create a brighter future for the industry.”