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AdLib: Life's a pitch for new adland talent as DIT students take agency roles


Al Porter is one of the stars of Today FM’s new brand campaign

Al Porter is one of the stars of Today FM’s new brand campaign

Brian Dobson

Brian Dobson


Al Porter is one of the stars of Today FM’s new brand campaign

Final preparations are under way for students from this year's DIT masters in advertising studies to make their 'search for creative intelligence' pitches to industry leaders.

Divided into two agency teams, AdGrad 17 will present ad campaigns based on briefs from Focus Ireland and the Children's Medical & Research Foundation (CMRF) at Crumlin Hospital.

Each team sees the students take on traditional agency roles across all disciplines to tackle the communications challenges in the briefs.

The pitches are the climax of the MSc students' academic year. Rosie Hand, who heads up advertising studies at DIT, says the course covers copywriting, radio and TV production, design, client service, strategy and developing insight.

The class boasts a group of lecturers with a wealth of agency experience, including Conor Ferguson, Jonathan Forrest, Shane Holohan, Yvonne Tuohy and James Dunne. The class also had a chance to address real briefs and present them to clients, like SVP. Hand says the pitch is a chance for the class to show what they have learned and what they have to offer.

"The pitch and the course itself are a well-worn path in adland, with many of its alumni expected to attend in the hopes of spotting new talent," Hand told AdLib.

The pitches will be staged in the campus at DIT Aungier Street on June 8. More details on the event can be found on adgrad.ie, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching AdGrad17.


Following a management reshuffle by Communicorp CEO Adrian Serle, Today FM has launched a new brand campaign. In the 'Oh it's On' TV ad, Ian Dempsey and Mario Rosenstock, Dermot & Dave, Al Porter, Matt Cooper and Louise Duffy take on the trolls and challenge negative social media comments.

Created by Publicis, with media by Mindshare, the TV ad was shot in Ardmore Studios and directed by Finn Keenan for Motherland. 

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The 'Show Me the Weight' track is by The Hot Sprockets. The TV ad is supported by digital and out-of-home ads in Dublin, Cork and Galway. All nine presenters on the Today FM schedule from 5am to midnight feature.

The Communicorp management changes resulted in the departure of Newstalk CEO Tim Collins - now a consultant - 98FM CEO John Burns and Jamie Crawford, who was in charge of Spin 1038 and Spin South West. The station's former editor-in-chief Garrett Harte is now a consultant to Newstalk.


The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) review for the Ulster Bank creative account has been narrowed down to three agencies - Boys and Girls, In the Company of Huskies and Publicis. Boys and Girls has history with banks, having previously handled Rabobank, while Publicis currently works with Permanent TSB.

A decision is expected by the end of May.

Irish Rail is seeing pitches from creative and media agencies. Publicis, which created the TV ad with two men giving sleeping nods of approval to the intercity service, face a challenge from a number of other agencies.

On the media front, Carat, Initiative, MediaCom and the incumbent, Mediavest will present. Carat is the Dublin Bus incumbent. Open Communications is managing the Irish Rail review.


RTE's Bryan Dobson, pictured, returns as quizmaster for the annual Business Journalists Association of Ireland (BJAI) corporate challenge quiz in aid of the Dublin Simon Community in the Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road at 8pm on Tuesday, May 30.

President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly will adjudicate on the night. DAA, William Fry and Eir are the sponsors. DDFH&B Group's The Reputations Agency is again donating event management and PR services.

Last year's winner was Edelman. A corporate table of four costs €1,000.

Since the quiz started, it has raised close to €500k for Simon.


Red C Research deputy managing director David Cullen is to leave the agency and will again run his own strategic consultancy. He joined Red C 10 years ago after a merger with his OI Research agency.

A specialist in advanced analytical modelling and techniques, Cullen is a former director of Lansdowne Market Research, now Kantar Millward Brown.

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie cullen@marketing.ie

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