7
Nov

COST OF LIVING CRISIS CUTS DEEP IN SCOTLAND

A new ‘Mood of the Nation Report’ published today by The Union has set out to capture how the cost of living crisis is impacting on people living in Scotland. Focused on their feelings, fears, priorities and coping mechanisms, it is a striking snapshot as the nation looks ahead to what will be an incredibly tough winter for many. The study shows biggest shift in Scottish consumer confidence in living memory with nine out of ten Scots seriously concerned by the cost of living crisis. The findings make for sober reading, indicating that perhaps there is a disconnect between the reality of public sentiment and the current consensus amongst legislators, retailers and consumer brands.

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20
Sep

UNION HIRES ADAM SWANN TO LEAD STRATEGY TEAM

Adam Swann has joined The Union as the agency’s Chief Strategy Officer, after spending 12 years in the USA at various top agencies in New York and Boston.  His role will be to lead the Strategy and Planning Department as part of a drive to engage with clients on a wider strategic front. He will also work in collaboration with the teams at Union Digital and Union Data to help integrate and evolve the agency’s research, insight and strategic services.

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18
Sep

UNION CREATES NEW TRAFFIC SCOTLAND WEBSITE

The Union has designed and built a major new website for Government agency Transport Scotland. The new Traffic Scotland website [ https://www.traffic.gov.scot ] is the result of almost three years of work by the agency, working in close collaboration with the client team. The site is the official hub for all data for Scotland’s main trunk road network. The agency’s challenge was to present a vast number of data sets and intelligence to all of Scotland’s road users; every day, on demand, in real time. The whole project was user-led; this required numerous rounds of insight gathering by the agency’s planning team along with extensive rounds of UX research and user testing. The finished site has an incredible array of data on Scotland’s road network; from traffic congestion to live camera views, roadworks, closures, EV charging points, latest incidents, and even the salt treatment on roads for the winter. The site also has a sophisticated route and journey planner.

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14
Sep

THE SO WHAT OF DRUPAL 10

It took five years to get from Drupal 8 to 9. By the end of 2022, Drupal 10 will be out, and that’s less than half the time. Why the rush, and what does it mean for people running websites? In summary, this is the start of several end-of-life countdowns.

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16
Aug

UNION APPOINTED TO THREE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT MARKETING FRAMEWORKS

The Union has been successful in gaining a place on three of the new Scottish Government marketing frameworks, also referred to as the ‘marketing rosters’. The rosters are tendered every four or five years; although this latest framework was delayed a year due to the pandemic. Agencies on the frameworks gain the right to tender for Scottish public sector marketing contracts, but are no guarantee of work. The Union has been appointed to three lots; 1) Creative Services above £50K, 2) Creative Services below £50K, and 3) Digital Marketing Services. Each framework is limited to five or six agencies.

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30
Jun

PROMOTIONS AT THE DOUBLE IN THE UNION GROUP

The Union Group is pleased to announce two key new promotions which strengthen the Union’s management team and signal the next generation of leaders for one of Scotland’s top creative agencies. Louise Killough has been promoted to Deputy Managing Director of The Union and simultaneously Emma Campbell is being promoted to Deputy Managing Director of sister agency, Union Direct. (As it happens, Louise and Emma are also sisters. And no ordinary sisters; identical twins, no less.) Previously the Union’s Client Services Director, in her new role Louise will continue to manage client business and oversee the account management function, while also be responsible for the financial performance and overall strategy direction of the agency. She will continue to work closely with other board members: Ian McAteer (Chairman), Michael Hart (Creative Director) and Heather Blair (Finance Director).

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28
Jun

UNION WINS TEN STARS AT 2022 MARKETING SOCIETY AWARDS

The Union topped the total number of awards won at the The Marketing Society Scotland Star Awards 2022. Winning a total of ten awards (2 Golds, 2 Silvers and 6 Bronzes) for seven clients, the agency demonstrated the breadth and quality of its creative output at the highly competitive event. The awards are judged by panels of independent experts; they aim to measure effectiveness of marketing investment.

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16
Jun

THE GREAT CYCLE OF MEDIOCRITY

Topic-wise, ‘creativity’ must be the most poisoned of chalices. So many great minds have covered this subject in infinite, erudite detail. I could save you all five minutes and just encourage you to watch the late, great Ken Hutchison’s TED Talk on creativity (what, you haven’t seen it?) or devour the works of Naomi Klein, Dave Trott, David Ogilvy et al. That would be my advice. But then again, you’ll soon forget what they say, because creativity’s first problem is our inability to remember its worth. Any nugget of wisdom gleaned from those giants will only reside temporarily in our craniums. We learn and forget, learn and forget. A cycle that continues in perpetuity because conformity, and as a consequence, mediocrity, is our default setting.  

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8
Jun

THE BABYLONIANS’ GUIDE TO EDI

The ancient city of Babylon served for nearly two millennia as a centre of civilisation, and we can thank them for the discoveries of the wheel, sailboat and the modern map. Star signs as we know them today also originated in Babylonian astrology, dating back to 2400 BCE. Each sign was named after a constellation the sun moved through while crossing the sky. It seems fitting that during the lead up to the Marketing Society Scotland Star Awards, we look to the stars themselves for guidance, knowledge and insight. Just as the Babylonian’s were thousands of years ago; we at Union are agents of change.

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30
May

‘LOVE ME!’ WAIL THE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTERS OF INTEGRATED DIGITAL CAMPAIGNS

Flirting with pretension, some marketers describe themselves as storytellers.  Advertisers, professional influencers, PR pros, videographers and SEOs have all said it.  It’s a lofty claim, but is it accurate?  Advertising campaigns must be fantastically creative and compelling but also commercial.  Our work, art, science and efforts push towards a goal, or we must look again at the brief and bill. So, we’re no Mary Shelley, and we’re not publishing anonymously just to get the story told.  After the optimistically hoped TV campaign budget failed to materialise, Shelly never grudgingly made a 15-second social media cut of a novel, and I doubt Shelly thought much about distribution and media channels. But we do make Frankenstein monsters.  Often, that’s tragic, but it does not need to be that way; later on, I’ll quickly discuss some artificial people who found love.

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12
Apr

UNION APPOINTS DIGITAL EXPERT TO BOLSTER GROWTH PLANS

The Union has appointed Andrew Girdwood (aka Girdy) as Digital Strategist in their growing digital team. Andrew has over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing, tech innovation and strategy. He has worked in some of top digital agencies such as bigmouthmedia, Digitas, and was previously Head of Media Technology at Leith. The Union has seen significant growth in their digital offering and services over the last 12 months including a continued focus on digital marketing services such as SEO and PPC, and this has been elevated further with Girdy’s appointment.  The Union are seeing clients more and more looking for a full service digital offering; from website design and build, to digital marketing and content strategy, and have been careful to hire the right people to not only help support their growth strategy but to embody their company culture, which is really important to them.

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8
Apr

UNION GROUP COMPANIES NOMINATED FOR 23 MARKETING STAR AWARDS

Union Group companies; The Union, Union Direct and Union Data, have been nominated for 23 awards for the upcoming Marketing Society Scotland Star Awards. The awards have been the litmus test for marketing effectiveness and creativity for the last 15 years in Scotland. The Union was named Agency of the Year in 2021; however this year’s 23 nominations is a record for the agency. The nominations are in 13 categories; across a total of ten different clients. The breadth and depth of recognition, even at this stage, reflects both an intensely busy 2021 for the agency but also the wide set of marketing services the agency offers clients.

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