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John Fanning

JOHN Fanning has taken an interesting new direction, but more of that later.

Prior to becoming chairman of the advertising agency McConnell's in 2000, he was managing director there and formed part of the fabric of the agency for over 30 years.

During his time in charge, McConnell's garnered a multi-million euro portfolio, and clients at various stages have included Kellogg's, Eircom, 02, Danone and Unilever as well as Irish brands Smithwicks, Ballygowan, Tayto and AIB.

He retired in 2007, just at the cusp of McConnell's major merger/takeover with another ad agency, AFA O'Meara.

He is still actively engaged with many things media related. In May, he became chairman of Bord Bia's Branding Forum, a networking and idea-sharing body made up of more than 100 food and drinks companies.

He contributes to Marketing Magazine and industry publications and is Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Trinity College. He is also a non-executive director of the Irish Times.

John Fanning's most interesting current project is an entirely new departure -- working on a PhD in English at UCD.

The eldest of six siblings, of whom RTE radio DJ Dave Fanning is the youngest, he is from Mount Merrion in South County Dublin. He attended Oatlands CBS and then UCD, from where he holds a BComm.

For seven years in the Sixties, he worked in market research in London before returning and joining McConnell's in 1972, where he was made managing director 10 years later in 1982.

Now in his mid-60s, he is married to Kaye and has two grown-up children and one grandchild. As regards pastimes: "Hobbies? What hobbies? I'm too busy! The PhD totally absorbs my time."

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