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PR appointment

Barr succeeds McLaughlin as BIG Partnership CEO

Allan Barr: ‘challenging time’

PR and marketing agency BIG Partnership has appointed director of digital, design and marketing, Allan Barr, as its new chief executive.

His appointment follows the departure of Steve McLaughlin who was in the role for just six months before leaving in December.

The Glasgow-headquartered company has also appointed associate directors Gayle Grant and Euan Blair as full board directors and promoted account director Charlene Sweeney to associate director.

Mr Barr, brother of BIG co-founder Alex Barr, joined the agency as an account director in 2007 after working in senior communications roles with professional services companies KPMG and PWC.

He led a number of the agency’s major PR accounts and was appointed a board director in 2010.  Over the last few years, he has spearheaded BIG’s diversification into digital, marketing and design, working closely with teams throughout the business, with direct responsibility for some of BIG’s key accounts.

Chairman, Malcolm McPherson said: “In Allan, we’ve got a chief executive who cares passionately about BIG, our clients and our team. He has played a central role in the company’s success over the past decade and more and has an in-depth understanding and knowledge of all sides of the business – PR, digital, marketing and creative.

“He is the right person to lead us on the next stage of our evolution to become one of the UK’s leading integrated marketing and communications agencies.”

Mr Barr said: “I’ve now spent more than half of my career at BIG and am hugely excited to take on the role of CEO. Clearly it is a challenging time, but marketing and communications services have never been more important for organisations.”

Ms Grant is BIG’s head of energy, based in the company’s Aberdeen office, and joined in 2010 from a Manchester PR agency after beginning her career in journalism. 

With over 16 years of digital marketing experience, Mr Blair joined BIG in 2015 and now leads the agency’s digital marketing team and creative studio.  He originally headed BIG’s PPC and SEO offering before taking on responsibility for the wider digital marketing team.

Account director Ms Sweeney, who heads some of BIG’s most prominent PR clients, is promoted to associate director.  She joined BIG in 2010 after a career in journalism with Scottish Television, the Sunday Herald and The Times..”

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