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THE annual search for Ireland's top marketer is underway and a call for entries is out.

Marketer of the Year recognises excellence by honouring a marketing executive's recent high achievements.

Last year's award winner was Failte Ireland's director of market development John Concannon for Discover Ireland's 'The Fun Starts Here' campaign.

Research had shown the need for an entirely new home holiday strategy. Concannon and his team knew Irish people loved holidaying at home but it was felt the message needed to be more appealing.

People's attitudes to holidays and how they fit into their everyday lives had changed considerably. New ideas were needed to inspire consumers.

A series of catchy TV, press and radio ads was created by DDFH&B-JWT. The ads made home holidays -- or staycations as they are sometimes known -- more appealing to Irish holidaymakers by highlighting the activities and attractions available year-round throughout the country.

Consumers were urged to take a little break, relax and enjoy the craic.

Studies by Behaviour & Attitudes (B&A) indicated 'The Fun Starts Here' convinced 42pc of Irish people to holiday at home.

The ads were the most effective ever monitored by B&A.

Last year's two Marketer of the Year runners-up were JCDecaux's Pat Mannion for Dublin Bikes and Vanessa Hartley for Aviva Ireland's health insurance performance.

To be in with a chance of becoming Marketer of the Year, candidates must fulfil various criteria.

A 10-person judging panel, headed by UCD Smurfit School professor of marketing Damien McLoughlin, will decide on the winner.

Organised by Marketing.ie and sponsored by Alternatives placement agency, entries are open until September 28.