The Media Business, the smallest of the specialist media buyers listed on the stock market, is to set up an office in Scotland with the aim of taking advantage of business opportunities it believes will arise if the referendum in September decides in favour of a devolved Scottish parliament.
While the company declined to comment on the plans, sources said yesterday that it had signed a lease on buildings in the Leith area of Edinburgh - traditionally a stronghold for Scotland's advertising industry - and was on the point of hiring senior staff to run the operation. Industry observers expect Media Business's move to be followed by a rush of media companies opening up offices in Scotland in the next few months. There are only two media buying firms, Faulds Advertising and Feather Brooksbank, serving the whole of Scotland and advertisers are clamouring for more choice.
Apart from having several Scottish clients, which include Royal Bank of Scotland and Scotsman Publications, management at Media Business believes the Scottish market is ripe for exploitation.
Those beliefs are shared by other media groups. Bert Hardy, chief executive of European Press Holdings, said: "After devolution, advertisers will begin to focus more on Scotland as a marketing area, paying more attention to the Scottish consumer as an entity."
Scotland has recently scored several notable successes in attracting big businesses, which may also persuade advertising agencies to make the move north.
It is also understood that Edinburgh's old GPO building is being earmarked for the creation of a vast media centre to house journalists covering parliamentary matters in Scotland.
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