Saturday 1 November 2014

Postscipt - Media & Marketing: Optimism back in ad sector

Published 31/07/2014 | 00:00

Seinfeld
New elephant at Dublin Zoo

The advertising sector has hit a turning point, new research shows.

There has been a very significant shift in industry confidence, according to an annual census by the Institute of Advertising Practitioners Ireland (IAPI).

Just under four fifths of advertisers surveyed estimated that industry turnover will increase in 2014. This is a massive shift on 2012 when only one fifth predicted an increase. More than half of all agencies expect their staff levels to increase by the end of 2014.

"Our 2014 census points to a transformation in the fortune's of Ireland's advertising industry," said IAPI chief executive Tania Bannotti.

"Crucially, our members are reporting improvements in some hourly rates and other indicators of growing customer demand, while most are looking to staff-up for recovery and growth."

But there are caveats to this positive picture, she added. Staff turnover is on the increase, reflecting more competition for skilled staff both within the industry and from other industries. There remains significant pressure on rates and the costs of new business pitching remains high in comparison to other countries.

Poor gender diversity in senior positions remains a problem too. Just one-in-four board members of Irish advertising agencies are women. However, progress is being made on maternity and paternity leave; a significant number of agencies now offer paid leave for new dads.

Seinfeld fans' Netflix boost

Netflix's 175,000 Irish customers could soon be binge-watching 'Seinfeld' to their hearts' content.

Yes, the prospect of 'Seinfeld' on demand is real and it's spectacular.

Late last week Jerry Seinfeld, the star of the eponymous sitcom, suggested as much during a live Q&A on catch-all website Reddit. "These conversations are presently taking place," he said. September is being rumoured as the due date.

In the past, streaming subscription services such as Netflix baulked at paying the huge syndication fees commanded by a top-shelf sitcom like 'Seinfeld'.

These days, with its number of subscribers topping 50 million, Netflix is spending lavishly on programming.

Even elephants have sponsors

A baby elephant is not the only new arrival at Dublin Zoo. The country's second favourite paid-for tourist attraction has just signed up the Natural Confectionary Company as a sponsor.

The flavouring-free sweets business will sponsor the zoo's Asian elephant habitat, known as the Kaziranga Forest Trail. This will come in handy given that its elephant contingent has just grown to six. An as-yet-unnamed calf was born to mum Yasmin on Thursday July 18.

The two brands are inviting the public to help name the calf, favouring monikers inspired by his Indian heritage. The competition will run through the Natural Confectionary Company's Facebook page.

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