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Wednesday, May 20th, 2015


PRCA Scotland Awards

Big night for Edinburgh Council and Smarts

PRCA awards

Edinburgh City Council and Smarts Communicate were the big winners at the PRCA Scotland and Northern Ireland awards tonight. The city council was named in-house team of the year, while Smarts received the award for consultancy of the year along with two other awards. It was also announced that Clare Smith of the Scottish government marketing department will be the new chairman of the PRCA Scotland, confirming a report earlier in Daily Business. She was unable to attend the conference held earlier or the awards event as she was onRead More

Wed close: Vodafone merger talk ignites market

Vodafone, Barclays and RBS helped lift the Footsie above the 7,000 level for the first time in seven sessions, closing 12.16 points higher (+0.17%) at 7,007.26. Shares in Vodafone, which fell 3.2% on Tuesday, advanced 5.4% after the chairman of Liberty Global, John Malone, said the two companies would make a “great fit”, reigniting long-running merger speculation. Barclays and RBS rose in afternoon trade despite confirmation that they, along with JPMorgan, Citigroup and UBS, have been fined a combined $5.6bn for their alleged manipulation of FX markets. Marks & Spencer experienced a volatileRead More

New officers for PR body

Clare Smith elected as chairman of PRCA Scotland

Clare Smith

The PRCA has appointed Clare Smith, the Scottish Government’s chief marketing officer, as the new chairman of its Scotland Group. Clare will be supported by new vice chairman Natalie Buxton, a director at Weber Shandwick. The duo were elected after being uncontested during the election process. They will take over the roles with immediate effect. Ms Smith succeeds Lesley Brydon (Clark), who has chaired the PRCA’s Scotland Group for four years. PRCA Scotland co-ordinator Wilma Littlejohn will continue to provide additional support. Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, said: “I would likeRead More

Multimedia acquisition

ShortList Media snapped up by DC Thomson


DC Thomson, 50% owner of multimedia company shortList Media, has acquired the other half for an undisclosed sum. ShortList Media first published the free weekly men’s magazine ShortList in 2007 and had an audited weekly ABC in excess of 500,000. Two years later it followed up with Stylist, a free weekly women’s magazine which has a print distribution in excess of 400,000. The company, run by chief executive Mike Soutar, has also developed standalone digital brands including the stylish daily email services Emerald Street and Mr Hyde. The tablet edition of Stylist is theRead More

Evans takes up role as Permanent Secretary

Leslie Evans

Leslie Evans has been appointed as the new Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, replacing Sir Peter Housden. Ms Evans, currently Director general learning & justice, will take up the post on 1 July. Sir Peter announced his intention to leave the Scottish Government in January this year, after five years in post. Ms Evans joined the Scottish Government in September 2000, and has held a number of posts including Director of Culture, External Affairs and Tourism and Director General Education. Before joining the Scottish Government, she spent 20 yearsRead More

Settlement reached following probe

Banks fined £4 billion after admitting guilt in forex scandal

RBS hq

Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays were among four banks which today pleaded guilty to trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates, and together with two others were fined a total of almost $6 billion (£4n). The settlement with US authorities effectively brings an end to one of the world’s biggest ever misconduct investigations. In total seven banks have paid $10bn in fines for the practices of forex traders between 2007 and 2013. Citigroup and JP Morgan also pled guilty today.  Swiss bank UBS, which avoided a guilty plea over the forex debacle,Read More

Visitor numbers rise 5%

FSB boss questions whether tourism figures are ‘good enough’

Scotland’s hopes of cashing in on a year of major events was rewarded with a 5% rise in visitors and a jump in spending – though a small business leader questioned whether the figures were good enough. More than 15 million overseas and domestics visitors spent more than £4.7 billion, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. Tourism minister Fergus Ewing described the figures as “hugely encouraging”. He said they show Scotland’s tourism industry continuing to grow and outperform Great Britain as a whole. But the Federation of SmallRead More

Papermaker to be wound down

Tullis Russell: no offers received and more staff laid off

Tullis Russell

Papermaker Tullis Russell was in the process of being wound down today after the deadline for offers for the business passed without any forthcoming. More than 200 potential buyers were contacted by joint administrators Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar of KPMG. They set a closing date for indicative offers for the business and assets of Noon on Monday, but no offers were received. A further 21 workers were were made redundant in addition to 325 when the company called in the administrators last month. The plant had 474 employees. Prior to enteringRead More

Grant Thornton report on prospects

Oil price volatility forcing firms to delay projects or sell assets

The fall in the global oil price is forcing companies in the sector to delay projects and even consider selling assets, according to a new report. A survey of senior oil and gas executives has found that 42% have put some plans on hold, while 11% need to raise extra finance or sell existing assets to remain operational. A further 11% suggest they will need to engage in significant financial restructuring before the end of the year, says the report, produced by Grant Thornton. Asked for a prediction on oil prices byRead More

Hotel heavyweight for Scots chain

Ex-Malmaison boss Cook takes top role at Macdonald

Macdonald Hotels, the UK’s largest independent hotel group, has appointed industry heavyweight Robert Cook as commercial director. Mr Cook, who led the impressive growth of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin for nine years before joining De Vere Group as chief executive in 2012, has been working with Macdonald as a consultant since the turn of the year. He will have group-wide responsibility for food and beverage, leisure, spa and golf as well as contributing as a board member to the overall strategy of the group. Reporting to group chairman andRead More