Team

Marianne Blaikie – Account Director

Hola muchachos. Marianne joined us in 2014 from RAPP where she ran the global Hewlett Packard account. She’s brought with her over 15 years’ experience, along with rather impressive Spanish speaking skills and a fondness for karaoke. Mazza just moved house and she’s excited to be doing up her new pad. We have a secret suspicion that this involves turning the spare room into a karaoke booth, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Jane Fiddes – Account Director

After attending art college, Jane quickly realised she was more drawn to business than blank canvases. Luckily for our clients she decided to make a fine art out of her marketing skills. Jane has worked both client-side and ‘dark side’-side (AKA agencies), and joins us from The Gate, where she headed up the SSE Business Energy account among others. Loves: her puppy, Poppy, life-drawing, spinning, singing, choral music. Is partial to: theatre, art galleries, Greek food. Certainly does not protest against: being force-fed/chased with a spoon by her Greek mother-in-law.

Kirsten Korhonen – Account Director

Kirsten started her career client-side with VELUX, one of the UK's best known brands. She loves the big idea as well as the small detail. And clients love her as she is the consummate professional. She’s never been to Ibiza. No, no, no. Not once, every summer for the last five years. And nor would she ever mention Ibiza, so don’t worry if you get stuck in a lift with her. The subject just won’t come up. However, she can always have her arm twisted for just one last French Martini. (Ideally in Space.)

Sally Taylor – Account Director

For the last 15 years Sally (Mustang) has worked in Scotland’s top agencies, on accounts across every sector, and has been awarded top accolades along the way. Her clients rave about their great relationships with her. In her spare time Sally’s building a house. Which sounds like she has a lot of spare time but, the reality is that she hasn’t built much of the house yet.

Hayley Forson – Account Manager

Hayley is the newest member of our Account Management team. Joining after five years honing her B2B, partnership and project management skills at VisitScotland she’s hit the ground running working on the Scottish Widows and Edinburgh Airport accounts. Hayley has also just completed a Very Important Project – her own wedding.

Passionate about Scotland, photography and the great outdoors she’s set a target of bagging 100 Munros before she’s 30 – with 3 years to go and only on Munro number 9, it’s seeming unlikely.

Erika Sablinskaite – Account Manager

Ever the cool, calm and collected type, Erika arrived from RAPP, quietly got stuck into delivering great work for our clients from day one, and now we feel as if she’s always been here. Erika is all about joined up customer journeys, email and social, and has worked with major utilities, tourism and government clients. She likes: foxes, books, doodling, hills, sunshine and good food – preferably all at the same time.

Pam Sives – Account Manager

Originally from Livingston, a leafy suburb of Edinburgh, Pam’s introduction to the advertising world was in 1986, seeing her mum singing and dancing in a Chicken Tonight commercial on STV. Telling no one about this, she wangled summer internships at agencies throughout her university summers. Till, two days after graduating, she simply rucked-up again, realised no one was asking awkward questions, and simply stayed. It was only a matter of weeks before she rose from friend’s floor to her very own mattress.

Siobhan Smith – Junior Account Manager

Siobhan grew up on the magical Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. If you think that sounds idyllic, wait ‘til you hear about her pet lamb named Two Scoops that used to follow her around everywhere. He would even meet her off the school bus. Is your heart melting yet? Siobhan brings heaps of enthusiasm and Outer Hebridean spirit, joining us as a junior account manager from VisitScotland, where she helped deliver regional brand campaigns for the North West of Scotland. Which, if you ask her, is the most beautiful part of the world. Not that she’s biased or anything.

Neven Crljenak – Art Director and Graphic Designer

After 18 years' agency experience in Croatia, Neven headed to Scotland to pursue his fondness for whisky, craft beers and cold water surfing (brrrr). His award winning work caught our eye and we're delighted to sponsor his cravings, in exchange for elegant and inspiring digital and direct marketing concepts and designs. Congratulations to Neven and Maya as they produced their best work to-date in the form of wee daughter, Mira, born in December. We hear she's taking her role very seriously and sleeping like a baby. Long may it last.

Ross Jardine – Art Director

If you’re ever looking for a creative who’s “keen as mustard” and “relishes new briefs”, Ross is your man. At least that’s what he proclaimed when he handed in jars of condiment to land his first creative role at a top design agency. A plan worth its salt, as it turns out, as it opened the door for him to work on big brands in top creative agencies, before joining us in March. Like any self-respecting mod, when he’s not riding his 1964 Lambretta scooter he can be found trailing around record shops, on the hunt for rare soul 45s.

Chris Miller – Copywriter

Chris has been a copywriter since before the evolution of opposable thumbs. Which may explain why he types the way he does. His work has appeared in the D&AD annual – the industry's creative bible – on numerous occasions. Including his nomination for a D&AD yellow pencil. And he served as a D&AD judge in 2015. Chris swears he’ll never stop writing. NEVER. He doesn’t care how many signatures are on that damned petition.

Christine Stamati – Copywriter

Christine first discovered the wonderful world of Union Direct in 2012 during a self-perpetuating summer internship, when she practically became part of the furniture. Three years later, she’s back full time and looking forward to doing lots of great work. Christine is secretly Greek and loves gin, cats, cake, and Oxford commas. She writes all her copy in Greek before Google-translating it to English. One of these statements may or may not be true.

Jamie Venters – Copywriter

What can we say about Jamie that hasn’t been said of Einstein, Newton, and the dude who invented peanut butter? Pretty much everything. He doesn’t have much in common with that crowd at all.

Jamie came to us after two years writing for brands at Tayburn. You’ll usually find him going for a run over lunch and running his mouth when he gets back. He spends his free time writing sketches and screenplays, and laughing at his own jokes. Well, someone’s got to.

Ian McAteer – Group Chairman

Ian retains an alarmingly infectious enthusiasm and passion for all things advertising that would put today’s low slung jean wearing hipster graduates to shame. Thankfully he no longer tries to wear their jeans nowadays. Although his outfits at agency parties have raised a few eyebrows. He’s also a former practicing barrister so a quick heads up – you’ll never win an argument with him. Ever.

Mark Reid – Planning Director

One of the founding fathers of the agency, Mark is a man of few words. Those words chiefly being 'golf', 'wine' and 'planning'. His knowledge of all three is truly exceptional. And quite a sight to behold when combined on a day out.

Nicci Motiang – Head of Planning

Nicci came back from Australia to work with us, so we think she really must love working here. You don’t travel 10,000 miles to work somewhere if you don’t love it! As Head of Planning and fearless leader of our Planning team, she brings skills and experience gained in working with agencies in London, Vienna and Melbourne. A Gold Star, award winning. author in 2015, 2016 and 2017 she’s a behaviour change and cake guru. Her commitment to both is hard to beat. Professionally curious, she loves running focus groups to unearth nifty insights. Always on the lookout for cake recipe or bakery recommendations.

Craig Wynn – Planner

Craig joins us all the way from South Africa, which we’re still struggling to understand. Could it be that he hates the sunshine? After studying at Rhodes University, Craig began his career in Johannesburg as a journalist. He entered marketing three years ago as a copywriter for Cerebra, a division of Wunderman. Later, after moving into strategy, he got the itch to visit Edinburgh, the childhood home of his late grandfather. In just three days, he was in love, and decided to make Scotland his permanent home. He’s joined Union Direct as a planner. Since no-one truly knows what planners do, we’ll leave it at that.

Gus Chalmers – Managing Director, Fellow of the Marketing Society

With over twenty years' experience in leading UK direct marketing agencies, Gus became Managing Director of Union Direct in June 2007. Since then he’s grown the business into Scotland’s leading direct response agency. We’re client centered, creatively led, strategically driven and tech friendly - working across all channels to deliver campaigns that drive sales and build relationships.

Karen André – Business Development Director

Karen started out in accounts. Actually accounts – the double entry kind. So don’t try getting any numbers that don’t add up past her. Fortunately she soon realised that it was the work she loved. Even more fortunately, she was persuaded not to touch the crayons but join account management. A handy knack for strategy and winning pitches (not unrelated) ensures she remains one of the industry’s brightest stars.
Outside of work you’ll find her growing potatoes, enjoying the reality show ‘Question Time’, and drinking wine. Not necessarily in that order.

Daniel Batey – Managing Director - Union Data

Data and Diagram Dan adds a touch of the foxy to Union Direct with his sleek silver fur. He also brings a flurry of the Peter Snow (remember, the election analyst?) with his fine display of facts and figures. He’s our data scientist genius guy (from DST, London) who turns data strategy into profitable actions for our clients. Swoon.

Emma Campbell – Client Services Director

Emma grew up down south, by which we mean some little place no one can remember the name of so ‘down south’ does the job just fine. After graduating with Distinction from Strathclyde, she didn’t stumble into the world of communications like a normal bleary-eyed student, but followed her own cleverly designed Successful Career Path process. Fortunately for our clients, they feature strongly in her plan for world domination so you don’t hear them complain about effective campaigns with excellent ROI. Occasionally she’ll miss an evening session at the gym, but not really ever.

Sheryl Thomson – Creative Director

Eh up! Sheryl moved to Edinburgh 16 years ago ­with a Yorkshire accent and a passion for beautiful things and fresh ideas. She hasn’t lost either since. She joins us from Story, where for 14 years she worked on ATL and BTL campaigns – but it’s the direct sell that keeps her going. Owns four cats and adores tapestry and cross-stitch. If you’re thinking ‘cat lady’, don't. This is stylish tattoo and ‘50s inspired needlecraft, not your typical fuddy-duddy stuff. An approach she also takes with creative work, which clearly works, as it’s won her more than a few awards over the years. Welcome Sheryl!

Laura Herriot – Production Director

Laura started out in Production at the Leith where her enviable claim to fame is suggesting using Caledonia on what’s become Scotland’s favourite Tennent’s lager ad. At Union Direct, she’s been responsible for producing some of our most innovative and beautiful award-winning creative. Her proofreading skills are unparalleled and being on the lookout for typos keeps her busty. Laura enjoys a beer in the bath.

David MacDonald – Head of Creative Services

Dave has 41 years’ experience in the print, design and advertising business – which is longer than VHS tapes, punk rock, the Muppet Show, and Apple computers have been around! Just like Apple, this Mac has had several reboots and upgrades in his career, and he’s delighted with his latest one, joining Union Direct. He’s happy to talk workflow challenges, leading and kerning, ascenders and descenders, as well as pub stories about near-death experiences, his latest health kick, 70s rock and general mischief. Welcome Dave!

Keith Varney – Production Manager

If you want to chat offset, litho, web press, ink ducts, blankets, pamphlets, cylinders, platens, sheet fed, web fed, data, suppressions, laser, simplex, duplex, perplexed?…you get the picture, Keith’s your man. (Better bring a packed lunch.) In his other life he makes music. But makes no money from being a double for that guy from that band.

Steven Anderson – Creative Artworker

Although the youngest man in Union Direct, Steven’s already managed to find a lovely wife, get on the property ladder and can cook a mean Sunday roast (talk about a show off). He's also the agency’s best swinger (golf that is), with an impressive handicap and an equally impressive polo shirt tan to match.

Steven won the unofficial title of 'Nice Guy' for the last 3 years running so if you need someone to help you move house, he’s your man.

Mary Doll – Office Manager

Mary runs the ship, takes care of the crew and sees off the bad guys.

Lesley Stephen – Receptionist

Lesley is the first thing many of us see or hear in the morning. Not in our own homes, obviously. That would be weird. Lesley, or Lezza, as she doesn’t like to be called, is the acceptable face of the agency. Which is why she sits right by the front door. It’s not because she’s been bad. She’ll put you through so quickly and efficiently your head will be spinning.

Teddy – Head of Trouble

Woof, woof-woof, woof. Woof.