Feeding frenzy in shark festival row
Published 03/12/2015 | 02:30
While it's not quite the sequel to the Battle of Kinsale, it would appear that the waters around the Sharks creative festival held in the Cork harbour town every September have become rather stormy. Following this year's event, a strongly-worded email was sent from senior creatives in certain agencies and production houses to other adland colleagues.
The email began by saying how a group got together in the aftermath of the festival to voice their "concerns" and "grievances". They said they were far from happy with what they regarded as the way the Sharks is run and the quality of the talks and speakers together with the level of the entry fees. "Knowing that all these points have been presented and discussed in previous years with the Kinsale organisers to no avail, it was agreed that a much tougher stance needs to be taken," the email continued. The contact effectively drew a line in the sand, claiming that the signatories to the email have no intention of being involved in next year's festival.
The email amounts to a loud call for change. One creative boss said while a few days in Kinsale in September watching "amazing ads" and networking with like-minded folk is valued, clients need to be made more aware of the Sharks. The festival is "crying out for coherent direction".
This year a new international short films and music videos category was added to the programme. Pop videos for Kodaline and Hozier were among the winners. But finding space for an extra category in a tight schedule isn't easy, without extending the festival. Many delegates can't justify more time 'on tour'. Ad agency Chemistry decided not to attend this year and its managing director, Ray Sheerin, who says the Sharks is irrelevant to his agency's business, questions the strength of the brand. "It has little status beyond some agencies and production companies," he added, claiming that winning a Shark award doesn't impress clients.
A festival spokesperson refused to comment about the unrest but said that talks about the Sharks' future were ongoing. Pictured at the Sharks awards show in Acton's Hotel is MC Baz Ashmawy, star of Sky 1's Emmy-winning '50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy' series.
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A native of Mayo, Walsh worked with Independent News & Media (INM) in South Africa and on the agency side with MediaCom and Mindshare. Radio Nova hopes to extend its audience to a further 1.7m listeners after applying to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for a quasi-national licence. The expansion will require a €500k investment.
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Other board directors include Core media financial boss Arthur Byrne, Jimmy Murphy, Publicis, Pat Meade, Boys and Girls, Emma O'Doherty, Mindshare and Stephen Quinn, Atomic. MediaVest's Aoibhin Lennon, pictured below, is the first director to graduate from IAPI's Futureheads initiative.
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Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie: firstname.lastname@example.org