Awards joy for stars of marketing - Graeme Atha

The Marketing Society Scotland Star Awards took place last week with a live streamed ceremony watched by over 500 guests in small gatherings in Zoom rooms in homes, offices and bars across the country.

The Digital Strategy winner was Parent Club by The Union, Republic of Media and the Scottish Government.
The Digital Strategy winner was Parent Club by The Union, Republic of Media and the Scottish Government.

Whilst we look forward to our marketing community coming together again in one big room this event format had the benefit of sharing the experience with a far wider audience beyond colleagues and industry contacts, including families and friends of the finalists.

For many of our winners the opportunity to share their big moment with those closest to them really adds to the experience.

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The Star Awards have been developed in line with our global vision to be the world’s most progressive network of marketers, working together to advance the contribution our profession makes to business and society. This fits perfectly with our local vision to build a vibrant marketing community in Scotland renowned for enlightened thinking, innovation and creativity.

Inspiring Agency Leader of the Year Winner Barrington Reeves from Too Gallus

These awards also reinforce our purpose to encourage our members to do well, do good and feel good about our profession and our marketing community.

TV presenter and Invictus Games ambassador, JJ Chalmers was our host for the evening and presented awards across Development, Strategic, Communication, Sector Chairman’s and Champions categories.

Star Award Chair, Petra Cameron from the NatWest Group opened the show and remarked on the quality and range of entries despite it being such a challenging year for all. Writing a successful awards entry really does take a lot of blood, sweat and tears as well as great teamwork.

Awards in the Development category included the Star School Award which was won by the 10 Scents team from Lochend Community School in Glasgow.

The Aspiring Creative Star award was developed this year to encourage people from all backgrounds to provide a submission with a chance to win a paid placement with leading agency Union Direct. The brief was to confront Scotland’s racist past whilst recognising positive Black history. 48 inspiring submissions were received with Maxime Rommes and Sarah Harvie being announced the winners for their Smoke and Chains entry.

Rising Agency Star was awarded to Lyndsay Snoddon from The Union. Rising Creative Star went to Nicola Laurie from StudioLR, and Rising Marketing Star went to Naomi McCann from Seafish.

The Champions category included awards for marketing plans and events developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Studio Something, Innis & Gunn and Material were amongst the winners.

A special Covid-19 response Inspiring Leadership award was presented to Pauline Aylesbury from the Scottish Government who was recognised for her personal contribution to a wide range of important public health campaigns developed over the last year.

The Inspiring Marketing Leader of the Year award went to Cat Leaver of VisitScotland.

The Inspiring Agency Leader of the Year award was presented to Barrington Reeves from Glasgow agency Too Gallus. Too Gallus also won the Chairman’s Award for SME Agency and the Champions of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award.

The Star Agency of the Year and Star Marketing Team of the Year was judged on entries across the awards categories as well the overall performance of the organisation over the year.

The Union won Star Agency of the Year having been awarded Gold in the Digital Strategy, Design and Public Sector categories.

The Scottish Government won Star Marketing Team of the Year with three Gold Stars in the Marketing Planning, Advertising and Public Sector categories.

To be a finalist on a Star Awards shortlist is a significant achievement and to win an award a real cause for celebration.

You can see the details of the finalists and winners at

Graeme Atha, Director of The Marketing Society


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