Postscript: White must be neutral - IBI
Media and Marketing
INDEPENDENT broadcasters have questioned whether the appointment of Labour TD Alex White to the post of communications minister raises conflict of interest issues because of his past role at RTE.
Lobby group the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) said its members were concerned that Mr White would perpetuate funding policies that favour RTE. The new minister was a current affairs producer at the national broadcaster between 1984 and 1994, working on a wide range of radio programmes.
In a presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, IBI chairman John Purcell called on Mr White to provide public service funding to independent radio stations.
He was discussing the forthcoming Public Service Broadcasting Charge, set to replace the current TV licence and to be levied on all households in Ireland regardless of whether they own a TV.
"The reality is that all decisions in relation to broadcasting in Ireland are viewed through the lens of protecting RTE and most worrying for our members is the fact that the new minister for communications, coming from an RTE background, may continue this policy," said Mr Purcell.
He lambasted outgoing communications minister Pat Rabbitte for what he called "political inaction".
Mr Rabbitte did "absolutely nothing" to change the funding model, he said, "which sees RTE receive taxpayers' money supposedly to pay for the public service it provides, but in reality the licence fee has been propping up the loss-making 2fm - a pop station with absolutely no public service remit - to the tune of some €12m".
Bake Off helps make oats hip
VALEO Foods has hailed its sponsorship of TV3's Great Irish Bake Off as 'transformative' for its Odlums oats brand.
The sponsorship was the main part of a €500,000 investment in changing consumer perceptions of the brand. Valeo bosses said the campaign helped to reignite an interest in home baking across the country.
The Great Irish Bake Off finale, presented by Anna Nolan, the culmination of six weeks of shows, was viewed by 207,000 people.
Coca-Cola ups its name game
Are you an Aodhan, Blathnaid or Eilish who has looked on longingly while Toms and Anns happily glugged from a Coca-Cola bottle with their names on the bottle? Well, weep no more.
The brand, which has been on something of an advertising spending spree in Ireland of late with a major sponsorship deal of Dublin Bikes, is expanding its 'Share a Coke' promotion with the addition of over 500 more names on 500 million bottles and 330ml cans of Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero. Nicknames and family members - a 'Dad' bottle for example - will be included.
To promote the campaign, the company has covered 60 seats on one Dublin Luas tram in Coca-Cola's iconic red with each seat embroidered with a name. Two Coke-red Dublin buses can also be seen driving around the city.