Friday 19 January 2018

AdLib: Chemistry hits its targets hard

The controversial ‘Get Cancer’ series of ads from Chemistry
The controversial ‘Get Cancer’ series of ads from Chemistry
Media Awards winner Gerry Lennon, Managing Director of the Sunday World and the Irish Daily Star

Michael Cullen

'At the end of the night it's a guaranteed ride'... 'What comes more quickly than your boyfriend?'... 'Prefer being on top?' Three slogans from ads for Dublin Bus Nitelink which Chemistry rolled out soon after the agency's launch in 1999. The campaign caused quite a stir in the Dáil. For the first time ever, ads prompted TDs to rise to their feet during Question Time and oppose such blatant use of sexual innuendo.

The then Minister for Public Enterprise Mary O'Rourke dealt with the brouhaha with her usual aplomb, assuring the House that the Nitelink service was one way of helping young people get home safely late at night. Chemistry isn't in the habit of creating ads which are tame and polite. Agency boss Ray Sheerin quotes writer and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who said "the opposite to love is not hate, it's indifference".

More recently, Chemistry aroused public interest with its 'Get Cancer' ads,. Like Marmite, some people love them, while others find them off-putting. People contacted the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) to say they hated the ads, but they wanted to be checked out - so the effort paid off by saving lives.

The ICS had been spending more than €1m on urging men to have a bowel check, but four-in-10 weren't turning up for appointments. Sheerin says the campaign needed to be "a slap in the face - a lightning rod to get people to act".

To celebrate its 18th year in business, Chemistry will host a 'debs' party for clients and suppliers in the Old Wesley disco tonight. No doubt, fond memories of the Nitelink pulling out of the Dublin Bus depot across the road in Donnybrook will be shared.


Hearty congratulations to the advertising and marketing teams of this parish, after Independent News & Media (INM) swept the boards at this year's Media Awards. INM's Gerry Lennon, Managing Director of the Sunday World and the Irish Daily Star was honoured as the year's Media Hero and the group was shortlisted in 12 of the 22 categories.

On the night INM romped home with six of the top prizes, securing Gold spots for: Best Collaboration Between Agency and Media Owner - Multimedia for The BFC - The Big Friendly Collaboration; and for Best Research Initiative with 'The Book of Evidence,' an econometrics study published by INM in May. INM also received the top prize of Gold for Best Creative Direction / Execution by a Media Owner for Yoplait's 'I Love My Age' campaign.

'The Book of Evidence' was the largest ever piece of research independently conducted by a publisher in Ireland, spanning over three years and 20 million data points and was also commended with a silver award in the Best Sales Initiative category; with silver also coming in for the Best Collaboration Between Agency and Media owner - Multimedia on the 'Ikea - It Starts With The Food' initiative.

Geoff Lyons, Commercial Director, Independent News & Media said: "We are delighted with our performance at this year's Media Awards. Our focus on delivering what the consumer wants to read is also highlighted through the expanded product offering, which has been commended at the Media Awards. We have developed and expanded our products to cater for the diverse interests of our readers and advertisers."


PR agency Drury Porter Novelli (DPN) has put Eimear Galvin in charge of its health division. She joined DPN as a director last August, having worked in London as media boss for the Terrence Higgins Trust for two years. She was also PR manager for Britain's National Union of Students (NUS).

Headed up by Anne-Marie Curran, DPN is part of the Omnicom network, as is sister agency FleishmanHillard. Clients include Beaumont Hospital, Tallaght Hospital and Bioderma. DPN's lobbying on behalf of the Oesophageal Cancer Fund (OCF) resulted in the Minister for Health launching the OCF's Lollipop Day four years ago.


Brand owners are being warned to be wary of bogus letters requesting fees for registering trademark renewals. The scams centre on demands for the 10-year fees following online trawls of current trademark registrations made with the Irish Patents Office.

One from Sweden sought €1,810 for renewing a trademark due to expire next year. The company listed contact details in Dublin. Trademark owners are advised to only engage in paying for renewals through authorised agents.


Loretta Dignam has been appointed group marketing and communications director for the Ardagh Group. Chaired by Paul Coulson, the glass and metal packaging giant has 109 plants in 22 markets and worldwide sales of €7.7bn. Dignam won Marketer of the Year for Jacob Fruitfield in 2011.

Michael Cullen is editor of;

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