The Union wins £3m online SMG account

Edinburgh’s The Union has picked up Scottish Media Group’s £3m S1 e-commerce account and has also poached Freeserve strategy director Sholto Ramsey to head its e-commerce division.

Edinburgh’s The Union has picked up Scottish Media Group’s &£3m S1 e-commerce account and has also poached Freeserve strategy director Sholto Ramsey to head its e-commerce division.

Ramsey will take the title e-commerce strategy director and will work alongside e-commerce director Jayne Windus, who joined The Union from Faulds Advertising. At Freeserve, Ramsey set up Freeserve Auctions, a UK online auction service which launched in October 1999.

Ramsey’s recruitment comes as The Union is developing its e-commerce services. The agency won the &£15m account to launch Halifax’s Internet and telephone banking arm Intelligent Finance (IF) at the end of last year. The agency is also handling the launch of Scottish Courage Brands’ members-only Internet Club (MW November 9).

S1, which is due to launch in January, will provide online information and advertising for Scotland and will operate a number of sites under the S1 umbrella brand such as S1jobs.com and S1homes.com. The launch will be backed by an advertising campaign worth up to &£3m over the next 18 months.

The Union pitched against three other unnamed agencies. Nine agencies were originally considered for the account.

The Union managing director Ian McAteer says the agency’s e-commerce department has a dozen staff and is set to expand: “We are very serious about e-commerce, but we will not separate the unit from the agency – we are very much an integrated agency.”

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