Comms agency Spey unveils key appointments and client wins as it targets £1m turnover

Communications consultancy Spey is marking its fifth birthday with a string of senior hires, client wins and expansion of services, as well as change to its leadership structure, as it looks set to reach turnover of £1 million in the next year.

The Forres-headquartered business, which was set up in 2017 by Jennifer Robertson, says four new partner roles have been created to join the management team.

Rob Mathie has been appointed head of strategy, a new role the firm says bridges “client brief and creative solution”. He is described as having delivered pioneering work for big brands from Edinburgh to New York to London, specialising in cultural and social impact campaigns for Johnnie Walker whisky owner Diageo, UN Women, Superdrug, England Rugby, and many more.

Spey said that as a result of his appointment, it will now be offering clients a more diverse range of services and expertise to tap into consumer demand for purpose-led brands that deliver “culturally relevant campaigns with social impact”.

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In a further new role, former BBC broadcaster Eleanor Bradford is returning to Spey as a partner, after working in-house for the agency’s client Gordonstoun School, to become head of PR.

Emma Scott has been promoted to managing partner, taking over day-to-day running of the agency from the business’ owner Ms Robertson, who will now focus on Spey’s strategic overview, and Marion Cordiner, also part of the management team, has been promoted to partner after several years at the agency leading on some of its biggest clients.

Spey says it has built up a portfolio of brands it represents across food and drink, sustainability, education, tourism, hospitality and the third sector, with a suite of recent client wins including Berry Bros & Rudd Spirits, Glen Mhor Hotel in Inverness, St Margaret’s School for Girls in Aberdeen, and Lind & Lime Distillery in Leith.

From left: Spey partners Eleanor Bradford, Rob Mathie, Marion Cordiner, founder Jennifer Robertson and Emma Scott. Picture: contributed.

Speyside-headquartered Spey added that it has doubled in size since the pandemic with a team of 15, has premises in the historic Port of Leith in the Scottish capital, and is on course to reach £1m turnover in the next year based solely on organic growth. Additionally, it points out that it is an accredited Scottish Living Wage employer, and has been carbon neutral since 2020.

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Ms Robertson – who in 2016 married SNP MSP Angus Robertson – said: “When I started [Spey], some people thought it was an unthinkable move setting up an agency in the north of Scotland to service global Scottish brands, but if the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that it doesn’t matter where you work – it’s how you work. Our rural HQ ensures our staff are more connected to the natural environment as well as the largest part of Scotland, the Highlands.

"Investing in our people and our capabilities has been a priority since inception, driven by our talent programme to retain and attract talent to Speyside, creating jobs which didn’t exist before in an industry which most people need to move to the cities for.

"Now in our fifth year we are building up our team, strengthening our expertise across sectors, and capabilities, to ensure we continue to deliver the highest quality work underpinned by our locally rooted but global ethos, putting Scottish brands with purpose on the world stage.”