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THE shortlist for this year's Marketer of the Year award was announced today.

Four marketers -- Rita Kirwan, Largo Foods (Tayto and Hunky Dorys); Walter Drenth, Heineken Ireland for Coors Light; Loretta Dignam, Jacob Fruitfield and Julien Lelorrain, Renault Ireland -- are vying for the top prize which will be presented next week.

The award salutes a marketer's excellence in Ireland in the past two years.

It rewards the best use of strategy, innovation, communications and impact on the target market to make a product or service an outstanding success. Last year's winner was Failte Ireland's John Concannon (pictured) for Discover Ireland's Fun Starts Here campaign.


Renault's Lelorrain created the pioneering strategy for Ireland's car scrappage scheme.

Largo Foods took on Pepsi's Walkers snacks.

Its Tayto crisps won back market share and launched a family theme park in Meath. Its Hunky Dory brand made the headlines with its press ads, posters and calendars showing scantily clad sports women.

Dignam faced the task of giving Ireland's best known biscuit brands -- Jacob's Fig Rolls, Kimberley, Mikado and Coconut Creams -- a major revamp and launched new biscuit flavours.

Heineken's Drenth devised a marketing plan to make Coors Light popular among male beer drinkers by using the brand's rugged Rocky Mountains image.


Smurfit School of Business professor of marketing Damien McLoughlin chaired this year's judging panel.

He said that despite the recession, this year's entries had achieved the highest standard ever since the award's launch in 1993.

The winner will be announced next Thursday at an industry lunch .

Marketer of the Year is run by Marketing.ie in association with Alternatives.