Craft, graft and creativity will drive Scottish advertising success asserts new Scotland chair

Creativity underpinned by craftsmanship, hard work and dedication will fuel the greater success of the ad industry in Scotland, according to new Chairman for the IPA in Scotland, James Pais. His rallying words were delivered during his inaugural speech to an audience of leading figures from the communications and wider business communities at the IPA Scotland Members’ Reception which took place in Edinburgh.

Says Pais: “As outlined in the AA’s Advertising Pays Scotland report, out today, for the £1.7 billion spent on advertising in Scotland, the contribution to Scottish GDP was £8.8 billion – representing 5.6% of the Scottish economy. Furthermore, it creates jobs; 42,000, at last count and growing, it makes our brands internationally famous, and it showcases our outstanding creative talent.

“As BMB’s Chief Creative Officer Jules Chalkley wrote in a recent article: ‘Creatively, for the advertising and marketing industry, the world has never been more exiting; and, in our pursuit of new creative platforms and emerging tech opportunities, we have to make sure that our belief, and passion for craft comes along with us. Craft needs to be taught, if creativity is about having a different view on the world, then craft is how we bring that world to life.’

“So, my agenda is to put craftsmanship back on the table and to dedicate time to training and inspiration in this art form.”

To achieve this, Pais has focussed his agenda on three key areas:

Craft masterclasses

These classes will broaden the knowledge and skills in the junior members of IPA agencies and will be open to all disciplines in the industry from creative and account managers, digital and media planners and marketing executives. They will cover a range of areas, including how to contribute to a shoot environment, or a recording session, or how to recognise and utilise the ever-changing digital technology, as well as covering best practice in writing briefs, casting and reviewing work. The ultimate aim is to establish confidence in employees’ professions.

Speakers will include world-renowned photographer David Boni; Simon Mallinson, the owner of the Production company MTP on TV Direction and shoot etiquette; Pam Myers, Radio Producer on the intricacies of Radio Production; the ECD of the digital agency AKQA, Wayne Deakin on Creativity in the digital world; and Chris Page the founder of illustration company Three Blind Mice and judge on the British Arrows craft awards on Illustration and Animation, among others.

Creative inspiration sessions

This series of evening events will focus on the creative process, and will feature speakers from areas outside the industry; playwrights, musicians, comedians, film makers, sportsmen and psychologists. The premise of these talks, he explained, will be that we can find creativity everywhere, and that we can learn from it where ever we find it. 

Greater industry collaboration and partnered events

The IPA in Scotland will work more closely with The Advertising Association, D&AD, DMA, The Marketing Society, and the creative social network event organisation Glug, to achieve a united voice and to work together to deliver great advertising in Scotland. This will be achieved with more partnered events that will take in a much more varied and wider audience and subject matters.

In addition, Pais asserted that the IPA in Scotland’s Commercial, Effectiveness and Talent forums, made up of agency heads, will continue to develop and deliver on their objectives. One of which is the Scotland Student Advertising Awards. Now in its second year the Awards have helped to attract the next generation of talent and extend the IPA in Scotland’s links with academia. The 2017 Award winners, from Edinburgh Napier University were announced this evening, and the brief for 2018 will be announced this October.  

In rounding off his speech, Pais made a rousing plea to the industry:

“Craft is at the forefront of everything we do. The blood, sweat, tears, passion, failure, dedication and collaboration all go into to making what we called advertising.

“Remember why you chose this as your career, remember that this is a fun industry that is incredibly rewarding, yes it can get tough at times but in this industry you get to make incredible things, work with amazing people and be part of something that can make a difference. Embrace it.”

Join the conversation on Twitter @IPAScotland #ScotCreativity

James Pais’ biography

James has been working in the advertising industry for the last 30 years. Having started his career as a production manager for Cato Johnson then part of the Y&R group back in the 80s, he has since worked at agencies such as Publicis, BBH, Elvis, Weapon 7, Jam and the publishing company Northern and Shell.  He has been involved in the formation of both AIS and Personal and the Serbian digital production company Fabrika in the UK. James moved to Glasgow in 2014 with his wife and daughter and a love of the Glaswegian music scene. He joined Frame, a creative agency based in Glasgow as their Creative Services Director and member of the agency’s management team, where he co-ordinates all of Frame’s creative output and manages its production, art buying and studio services. James also lectures a module in Digital at the IPA TV Producers Knowledge course.    

Last updated 21 January 2022