Sunday 18 March 2018

AdLib: Sugar tax battle's the real thing

Verve’s Barry Muldowney and Ronan Traynor
Verve’s Barry Muldowney and Ronan Traynor

Michael Cullen

Soft drinks have been unfairly attacked as the "poster boy for sugar" despite reductions since Diet Coke's launch in 1982, Aedamar Howlett, Coke's marketing director for the UK and Ireland, has said. Her remarks follow meetings between Coca-Cola executives and various politicians, including Government ministers Michael Noonan and Mary Mitchell O'Connor.

The drinks giant has stepped up its campaign against the tax on sugary drinks, which is set to be introduced in April of next year to coincide with a similar move in the UK. "For us, it's about investing - and I use that word purposefully - where the eyeballs are but also where consumers are engaging with us," Howlett added.

Speaking at the launch of MediaCom's 'Marketing Sentiment Survey', Howlett said even allowing for the questions surrounding Brexit and Donald Trump, there were opportunities for brands to grow. She urged Irish marketers to spread their wings and move elsewhere, if necessary. She was not surprised advertising remains a top priority.

The report shows three in 10 Irish companies plan to increase budgets, while only 7pc plan cuts. Almost two-thirds will invest the same amount in marketing in 2017 as they did last year, the survey of 209 marketers found. The top three client priorities are awareness, using social media to drive sales and upselling to current customers.

MediaCom ceo Peter McPartlin said the results were encouraging, given the stress many companies are under. Some 37pc identified price-cutting pressures as a concern, while 26pc expect new Irish competitors to affect their business and 21pc cited competitor innovation. For 19pc, new global rivals were a "pinch point".

Among the companies saying they intend spending more in 2017, four-fifths plan to invest in their website or ecommerce functions, while about half will increase ad budgets. Social media channels were the clear favourite for further advertising investment.


* Jay Taberner has replaced Tanya Cawley as business development and events manager at the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI). Marketing Network is the latest new member agency, while Publicis D has returned to the IAPI fold. Bloom director David Quinn and Radical client director Leonie Howlin, have joined the institute's CopyClear board for vetting alcohol ads.

MediaVest has appointed Ruairi McNally as head of digital. McNally has 12 years' digital media experience and joins the Core group from Mindshare London, where his clients included American Express, ITV and the British government. He has been a lecturer with the Digital Marketing Institute for over seven years.

Aileen McDaid is now MediaVest's digital director. She worked with OMD in Sydney and Melbourne. Gemma Corbett has returned to MediaVest from Core sister agency, Mediaworks, where her clients included Liberty Insurance, McDonald's and Irish Life.


* EuroEvents became the only Irish agency to win a third international award at the Special Event Gala Awards in Long Beach, California. The agency, run by Robert O'Dowd, came first in the best event for a brand in the $100,000 to $249,999 budget category. The award was for the BMW 7 Series closed-room launch in a private residence in Killiney, Co Dublin. Verve won the gong for the best corporate event for Grand Hotel Google. The theme was inspired by the 1930's party in Wes Anderson's comedy, The Grand Budapest Hotel. The event in the RDS was attended by over 4,500 Google staff.


* Bord Bia rolls out its second shellfish campaign next week with a focus on mussels. Ireland produces almost 9,000 tonnes of mussels a year, most of which are exported. Bord Bia is encouraging consumers to #flexyourmussels by cooking Irish mussels at home.

The campaign wants to show how quick and simple mussels are to prepare, as well as highlighting their nutritional benefits. Mussels are said to be rich in zinc, iron, selenium, iodine and vitamin B12. Bord Bia's ads are in press, radio, outdoor, digital and in-store.


* No surprise to see out of home company Exterion Media signing up as a member of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). Poster sites are increasingly turning to digital in shopping centres and transport as the best way to influence consumers. Dublin's Connolly Station was the latest location to go digital with a gallery of 12 dPods.


* On the PR front, FleishmanHillard has been appointed to handle Allianz Worldwide Care (AWC) following a global alignment. FH health director Orla Burke will manage the business. AWC, previously with Grayling in London, has an operational hub in Dublin.

Michael Cullen is editor of;

Indo Business

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