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Client Profile - The Union Advertising Agency Limited

19 April 2016

The Union is one of the UK’s leading regional advertising and marketing communications agencies, based in Edinburgh and Leeds, and has been in business, and a client of Springfords, for 20 years.

The agency employs 95 staff and provides the full range of services to clients: advertising, direct marketing, design, brand consultancy, web design & build, online marketing, sales promotions, partnership and field marketing. This wide range of services is delivered through a number of specialist divisions: Union Connect, Union Direct and Union Digital. The agency has invested heavily in its digital capabilities and has a strong in-house web development team.

The Union works with a range of large blue-chip clients; but also SMEs and Charity clients. Clients include Scottish Government, VisitScotland, ScotRail, Scotch Beef, Miller Homes, Skyscanner, Scottish Widows, Black Horse Finance, Caledonian Brewery, Lens’ Self Storage, Heineken, Sterling Furniture, Worldwide Cancer Research, Poppy Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow Caledonian University.

A recent commission involved creating a new global marketing campaign for VisitScotland; which was launched by the First Minister at Edinburgh Castle.

The company prides itself on its creativity and the quality of its marketing effectiveness and leads the way in Scotland for creative output, having won over 200 creative awards and over 100 effectiveness awards.

Marketing Society Scotland Agency of the Year
Marketing Society Scotland Agency of the Year 

The Agency is currently the Marketing Society Scotland Agency of the Year (see picture), and has been nominated 15 times for the 2016 Marketing Star Awards.

Founded in 1996 by Ian McAteer (pictured below), Andrew Lindsay, Simon Scott and Mark Reid, the Union is still independently owned by the management team which has grown; with Kyle Hardie, Michael Hart, Gus Chalmers, Clive Goldstein and Dawn Kermani now all Directors.

In twenty years of business the company has seen many changes; most notably the growth of the internet; and the harsh recession of 2008 which hit the advertising industry in Scotland hard. Key to business success has been a policy of keeping feet firmly on the ground and sound financial management and reporting. In 2002 the agency moved to its own offices in a converted church on Inverleith Terrace.

Springfords have been The Union’s auditors and accountants since the very start; and have built up a good partnership with The Union; with a sound understanding of the agency’s marketplace and key metrics.

Ian McAteer
Ian McAteer 

Ian McAteer, The Union’s Chairman, says: “We value the relationship with Springfords. Primarily there is a good consistency of personnel, as well as a down-to-earth practical style which matches how we feel about business. Although we are in the creative sector, we know that good business is all about getting the financial basics right and keeping a clear head when it comes to risk and financial decisions.”

He continued: “Although we work with some large clients, we are always keen to talk to potential clients and have confidence in our ability to deliver sales results for clients of all sizes. With the growth of technology there are some amazing opportunities to develop distribution and sales.”

The full range of The Union’s work and services can be found at


Twitter: @unionagency
The Union is named Agency of the Year 2015 at the Marketing Star Awards in Glasgow.

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