Tuesday 20 August 2019

IDA reminds US, Japanese business chiefs: 'We're in Europe, not UK'


IDA chief Martin Shanahan. Photo: Mark Condren
IDA chief Martin Shanahan. Photo: Mark Condren

Shawn Pogatchnik

American and Japanese executives potentially confused that Ireland might be exiting the EU are being targeted with a new €1m IDA video campaign saying: "Make Ireland your European home, because this is where Europe's heart is."

The IDA unveiled the marketing campaign yesterday as it published mid-year results showing it has secured 13,500 new jobs at 140 locations so far this year, up 19pc from the first half of 2018, and forecast strong growth through 2019 - but with a risk of Brexit-related disruption thereafter.

IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan warned that the Brexit debate had sown confusion among potential investors, especially in Asia but also in US corporate circles, that Ireland would soon leave the EU or face British barriers to trading with its EU partners.

"Ireland is so aligned with the UK and so much of the discussion internationally around Brexit has been related to its potential impact on Ireland, on the Border, on the backstop," Mr Shanahan said.

"We feel it's necessary to underline internationally Ireland's continued commitment to the EU, the fact that we will be staying in the EU and that we will be at the heart of the EU."

The 20-second IDA video uses programmatic online ad technology to target chief executives and other corporate decision-makers in Japan and the USA viewing financial news sites such as 'The Economist', CNBC, Bloomberg and the 'Wall Street Journal'. The five-week campaign includes print ads in the 'New York Times', 'Bloomberg Businessweek' and, in Japan, the 'Yomiuri Shimbun' newspaper and Nikkei financial publications.

The video declares alongside a montage of images of Ireland tech hubs and fresh-faced workers: "This is the fastest-growing economy in the eurozone. Young, business-focused, outward-facing, highly educated and English-speaking. Make Ireland your European home, because this is where Europe's heart is."

Mr Shanahan said the IDA intended to expand the campaign to other Asian markets in coming weeks.

Foreign confusion about Ireland's relationship to the UK is nothing new for Mr Shanahan, who in 2014 famously had to keep his cool on CNBC's financial flagship 'Squawk Box' as a commentator repeatedly asked him to explain why Ireland uses the euro, not the British pound.

Irish Independent

Also in Business