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.
Adam was previously CSO at MMB, an independent creative agency in Boston, leading strategy across a range of healthcare, technology and retail clients. Prior to that, he was EVP Strategy Director at IPG agency Hill Holliday in Boston, driving brand, digital and content strategy across the agency’s top accounts, including the gargantuan Bank of America account, which he led for IPG across the USA.
Previous to this, at Grey New York, he was SVP Group Strategy Director, leading planning and strategy for WPP on the US Walgreen’s account, managing teams in NY and Chicago.
His CV includes stints at other agencies including Gyro, Digitas, 360i and JWT, in New York and London. During this time he worked on brands such as HSBC, T-Mobile, Virgin Atlantic, Kraft Foods, American Express, HSBC, Nuffield Health, Hewlett Packard, Bose and Toyota. Thus he brings a considerable bank of experience and knowledge across multiple client industries to his role at the Union Group.
Originally from the UK, Adam is an example of a genuinely hybrid strategy leader, having worked in brand, integrated and digital marketing roles, advising an incredibly broad range of clients.
In a new structure for the Edinburgh agency, his team will now serve the whole Union Group as a central resource; as the agency focuses further on offering clients the benefits of an integrated marketing service. (The Union is the only agency in Scotland able to offer clients the full range of marketing services under one roof and one management structure.)
A few from the Union Group’s group management board team welcome Adam Swann to the agency. [L-R: Ian McAteer (Chairman), Daniel Batey (MD, Union Data), Gus Chalmers (MD, Union Direct), Louise Killough (Deputy MD, The Union), Adam Swann, Michael Hart (Creative Director, The Union). Also on the group management board but not pictured: Heather Blair (Finance Director), Emma Campbell (Deputy MD, Union Direct), Sheryl Thomson (Creative Director, Union Direct), Sarah Rowe (Group Account Director), Keri Wyatt (Account Director, Union Connect) and Ali Liddy (Account Director, Union Connect).]
Ian McAteer, Chairman of the Union Group, commented, “This is a big hire for us. We know we already have a strong Planning Department; the evidence of this can be seen from winning ten Marketing Society awards in 2022. However, at The Union we never stand still, and the arrival of Adam gives us a huge boost. His experience is immense; we’re very excited by his arrival. We have been planning this for months as we wanted to ensure the fit was right; and we are very confident he will be a great addition to an excellent team. Already I can see the difference his fresh thinking and broad perspective adds.”
Adam added, “As we thought about making the leap back to Europe, it became clear that Scotland, and Edinburgh in particular, was a brilliant option. It’s a cultural, creative and business hub, well connected to everywhere in Europe. And within that, I am thrilled to join The Union because to me, the “union” of independence of spirit, entrepreneurialism and the integration of disciplines all under one roof is an opportunity not to miss.”
The Union offers creativity and expertise agency in branding, advertising, digital, design, partnerships, events and experiential marketing, data, segmentation, direct mail, eCRM, social strategy, content, PR and website design and build. The agency, with sales of over £12 million, employs over 85 staff and works for over 50 clients from its Edinburgh offices in Inverleith Terrace. Key clients include, Scottish Government, Scottish Widows, Zero Waste Scotland, Transport Scotland, The Paint Shed, PODFather, VisitScotland, Hankey Bannister, Historic Scotland, Schuh, Scottish Tourism Alliance and Scotland Food & Drink.