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A Day In The Life Of... Deirdre Waldron, CEO at TBWA\Dublin

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 12 April 2017
Updated: Tuesday 11 April 2017
deirdre waldron


The Marketing Institute: What does a CEO at TBWA\Dublin do? 

Deirdre Waldron: At TBWA\Dublin, my primary responsibility is to ensure that as a company we perform to the best of our collective ability. It’s something I strive for by ensuring we have the right blend of talent, for the right type of work, and most importantly, the right culture we all want to be part of. All of which keeps me focused on the vision for our company. 

At our core, TBWA\Dublin is a full service advertising and creative agency. We also have TBWA\MAKE, our in-house production studio, and TBWA\DAN, home to our data services for local clients and the TBWA global network and Disruption ® Consultancy, our consultancy arm.

My role is to ensure all these elements of the company are working optimally, though I also hold different roles within each. For example, I’m the relationship manager for some of our key clients within the main agency and also responsible for our new business program. For TBWA\DAN, I’m in a business development role, while with Disruption ® Consultancy I act as a business transformation advisor. 


MII: What were your key career moves to get to your current role? 

D.W: I began my career as a software engineer before progressing into management roles in project management and product marketing departments in financial services and multimedia companies in both the US and here. I moved to the agency side of things 8 years ago, firstly as a digital practitioner, but ultimately my management background opened up different opportunities for me in agency land. 


MII: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

D.W: As an agency head I think there are both internal and external challenges to consider. Internally, the biggest challenge in my role is keeping true to the vision and strategic direction we have chosen for our company. The daily treadmill can often lead to you losing a little bit of that focus. Having said that, I still enjoy jumping on a client problem or issue and bringing some creative thinking to the situation. 

Externally, I believe the biggest challenge our industry faces is the lack of value we place on the services we offer. In many ways we’ve been allowing the devaluation of agency services over the past number of years. This needs to change, and agencies need to lead the change. 


MII: What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?

D.W: It’s an oldie, but you need to be ready and adaptable to change. Our industry, our staff, our clients look for innovative thinking on a continual basis. We’re in the business of communications, so it should go without saying that you need to be very good communicator. Other key skills may sound clichéd, but there’s usually truth in a cliché - act with integrity and openness - the best relationships are always built on mutual trust. I could keep going about strategic thinking (bigger picture stuff), good coordination and organisational skills – but they’re true of many roles. What’s different about what I do, and it’s something I genuinely believe, you have to have a love for what you do – passion will always win out in the end and especially helps in those tougher days. 


MII: Describe a typical working day.

D.W: I think people who work in agencies do so because no day is typical. What I certainly love is the sheer variety of challenges. From creating a domestic abuse campaign for the Department of Justice and Equality to communicating a new disruptive residential pricing strategy for Electric Ireland, every day is vastly different. However there are some recurring themes – generally we’ll have internal meetings regarding operational needs but also on the strategic priorities we’ve set for the year. 

I try to split up my week across each of our varying services from the main advertising agency, to our data services, focusing on potential growth opportunities. I also try to have at least one client meeting/phone call a day so I’m always in touch with the client needs.

On top of that, I still love attending workshops with clients to help drive their businesses forward, often facilitated in our offices. Then there’s industry events, mentoring program, global agency leadership meetings, new business pitches, HR issues, P&L monitoring, shareholder management, board meetings, the list goes on… 


MII: What do you love most about your role? 

D.W: There are two main reasons why I love my role. Firstly, the variety of client challenges that I mentioned; and secondly, and the opportunity we have as an agency to make a positive impact on Irish society and culture through our communications on behalf of our clients.


MII: Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next? 

D.W: I would like to demonstrate that we can be a world-class creative agency that just happens to be in Dublin. I’d like to bring more international accounts to Dublin, or even bring some Irish brands currently with agencies outside of Ireland back home. Growing TBWA\Dublin as an international brand is my next focus, while continuing to expand our local footprint too.


MII: To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role? 

D.W: My colleagues, both in the Dublin office and our worldwide network. We’ve got an amazing team in the Dublin agency. It’s constantly growing and we’re adding new and diverse skills all the time. I still get inspired when we have internal team meetings on a client brief or working on our own agency projects. The people I work with have the incredible habit of inspiring me on a regular basis. That’s what you call a great place to work.

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Core Media announce winners of the ‘Young Marketers’ category of the Cannes Young Lions Competition 2017

Posted By Core Media, Tuesday 11 April 2017

young marketers

Shane Doyle, Group Strategy Director of Core Media, Paddy Carberry & Rachael Crawley, winners of the Young Marketers prize and Aidan Greene, Deputy CEO of Core Media and President of IAPI


Paddy Carberry and Rachael Crawley from Vodafone have been named as the winners of the ‘Young Marketers’ category of Cannes Young Lions Competition 2017, which is sponsored by Core Media, Ireland’s largest marketing communications group. 

Paddy and Rachael, who worked as a team to create their entry for the competition, will now travel to the Cannes Lions Festival in June to represent Ireland in the global ‘Young Marketers’ contest, competing against the best young creative marketing talent from over 100 countries. They will have just 24 hours to answer a brief set by a non-profit organisation and use the opportunity to demonstrate their strategic thinking and creative approach to solving important marketing challenges. 

The Cannes Lions Festival is an eight-day long international festival of creative thinking, digital innovation, education and networking. Attended by nearly 20,000 delegates from all over the world. It is the benchmark for the very best in global creativity. 

This is the first year of the ‘Young Marketers’ category at the Cannes Young Lions Competition. Previously, all the competition categories were only open to agencies, but the ‘Young Marketers’ category was designed specifically to attract entries from client companies and brands that engage the services of advertising and communication companies. 

Entrants, who had to be aged 30 years or under, were asked to develop a ‘big idea’ for the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland on how they would encourage consumers to reduce energy consumption in their homes.  

The Cannes Young Lions Competition is run by the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) and consists of seven separate competitions in the areas of marketing, media, social media, PR, design, film and print. The pair of winners from each of the seven competitions will represent Ireland in their respective categories in Cannes in June.



Core Media is Ireland’s largest marketing communications group. The business consists of nine individual agencies – Mediavest, Mediaworks, Starcom, ZenithOptimedia, Core Knowledge, Engage Communications, Livewire, Ignite and Radical.

Core Media has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last four years at the Media Awards and the company was also voted one of the top three workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the last four years.


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2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Reveals Crisis of Trust in Ireland

Posted By Edelman, Wednesday 5 April 2017

Joe Carmody Edelman

  • 59 percent believe the system has failed them
  • Media now least trusted institution, but traditional media trust is on the rise
  • Irish people are 2.5 times more likely to ignore information that supports a position they do not believe in
  • CEOs amongst least credible spokespeople


March 30th 2017 – New findings released today from the 2017 Edelman Ireland Trust Barometer reveals a crisis in trust levels across the institutions of government, business, media and NGOs. Trust in media fell from 39 percent to 29 percent and media is now seen as the least trusted institution in Ireland. Trust in Government in Ireland remained at the same level as the previous year on 32 percent. Trust in business and NGOs dropped and they are now only 2 percentage points apart, at 41 percent and 43 percent respectively.


The Trust Barometer found that 59 percent of respondents in Ireland believe that the system has failed them — that it is unfair and offers little hope for the future — while only 15 percent believe it is working, and more than one-quarter are uncertain. The research reveals that 55 percent of the top income quartile, 59 percent of third level educated and a majority of the well-informed (56 percent) believe the system has failed. The Barometer showed that populist issues are fueled by a lack of trust in the system as well as both economic and societal fears. Countries coupling a lack of faith in the system with deep fears, such as the U.S., U.K. and Italy have seen the election of Donald Trump, the Brexit vote and the failed Italian referendum.


The research finds that credibility of leaders in Ireland is also in peril. CEO credibility dropped 16 points in Ireland from the previous year, to 27 percent which now puts it on par with government officials and boards of directors as the least credible spokespeople. The most credible spokespeople in Ireland are academic experts (61 percent), technical experts (58 percent) and a person like yourself (54 percent).


Speaking at the unveiling of the findings, Joe Carmody, managing director of Edelman Ireland said: “2016 and early 2017 has been a period of almost unimaginable upheaval. People in multiple countries rejected their government’s leaders or policies, demonstrating their dissatisfaction and distrust by electing reform or outsider candidates, voting to leave trading blocs, or refusing to support treaties negotiated by their governments. The mainstream media lost audience as people turned to social media and search for information, advertising results were questioned, and the spectre of fake news has left the public wondering what is true anymore.


“The findings of the 2017 Trust Barometer help provide a roadmap for understanding the forces that influenced the tide of populist action that swept across many western-style democracies. Ireland must consider itself on notice for the rise of populism. Once the majority of the population believes that the system is no longer serving them, they also become vulnerable to the fears that can fuel anti-establishment actions.”


The cycle of distrust is magnified by the emergence of a media echo chamber that reinforces personal beliefs while shutting out opposing points of view. Respondents in Ireland favour search engines (53 percent) over human editors (47 percent) and are more than 2.5 times more likely to ignore information that supports a position they do not believe in. 49 percent stated that they never or rarely change their position on important social issues.


Of the four institutions, business is viewed as the only one that can make a difference in the community it operates in. 68 percent of respondents agree a company can take specific actions to both increase profits and improve economic and social conditions in the community where it operates. However, there are worries amongst the workforce in Ireland that business must respond to. People in Ireland expressed worries about losing their jobs due to the lack of training and skills provided to them (49 percent), foreign competitors (44 percent) and automation (37 percent).


Other key findings from the 2017 Edelman Ireland Trust Barometer include:


Between 2012 and 2017, media as an institution saw a six percent drop. Traditional media (56 percent), the most trusted media outlet, has seen two years of growth in trust levels. Online only media saw a seven point drop on 2016 levels from 48 percent to 41 percent.


More than one in three people in Ireland agree with the statement, “I would support politicians I trust to make things better for me and my family even if they exaggerated the truth.”


Employees are seen as the most credible spokespeople on issues including employee/customer relations (64 percent), innovation (33 percent) and industry issues (36 percent).


The full presentation is available to view at


For further information please contact:

Martyn Rosney


016789333 / 0857282151


Edelman is a leading global communications marketing firm that partners with many of the world’s largest and emerging businesses and organizations, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. In Ireland, we are a team of brand, reputation, research and digital strategists who drive award-winning creative communication programmes. We have deep expertise in consumer trends, research, analytics and insights, corporate reputation, health, technology, crisis and government affairs.

Edelman was awarded the Grand Prix Cannes Lion for PR in 2014; six Cannes Lions in 2015; and the Grand Prix in the Titanium category in 2016. The firm was named “2016 Global Agency of the Year” by the Holmes Report, and one of Advertising Age’s “Agencies to Watch” in 2014. In 2015, Edelman was among Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” for the fourth time. Edelman owns specialty firms Edelman Intelligence (research) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, experiential), a joint venture with United Talent Agency. Visit for more information.



The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer is the firm’s 17th annual trust and credibility survey. The survey was done by research firm Edelman Intelligence and consisted of 25-minute online interviews conducted on October 13th – November 16th, 2016 with supplementary research carried out in the intervening period. The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer online survey sampled more than 33,000 respondents consisting of 1,150 general population respondents in each country aged 18 and over and 500 informed public respondents in the U.S. and China and 200 informed public respondents in all other countries across 28 markets. All informed publics met the following criteria: ages 25-64, college-educated; household income in the top quartile for their age in their country; read or watch business/news media at least several times a week; follow public policy issues in the news at least several times a week.

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Digital Marketing, Big Data and CX: 3 Key Takeaways from DMX Dublin

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 29 March 2017

Some Marketing Institute guest speakers have a go at cracking today’s big marketing questions

dmx dublin speakers

We’re delighted with the lineup of fantastic speakers from various backgrounds and industries who spoke at our DMX Dublin conference on 8th March. 

Remembering that The Marketing Institute’s purpose is to enable marketers to build great brands and great careers, we decided to pick the brains of some of these thought leaders on the big questions and trends that arise in marketing in Ireland today. Here are their insights.


Forget “Digital Marketing”, let’s get back to the basics 

Digital has opened up countless opportunities for marketers, and the pace it’s moving at means we’re constantly on the lookout for the next big thing. Yesterday was all about live video; today we’re talking AI, AR and VR… But are these shiny new tools distracting us from the bigger picture, and the true role of marketing?  

Peter Kim (Lego), notes: “Marketers have taken an approach to digital that has loosened up from what made it so awesome 10-15 years ago.  These days what consumers see is a lot of clutter, irrelevance, and interruption when it comes to advertising in digital.” So how do we go back to the core of marketing?

It’s time to take a step back and look at the brand, the objective, the audience, and how we achieve long-term success. Marketing Consultant Shane O’Leary explains: “We need to be less focused on complexity and get back to what marketing really means: driving sales and business objectives rather than focusing on the tactical minutia. Digital is causing us to focus more on the short term than the long term. We focus more on effectiveness rather than efficiency. We tend to not extrapolate these short term metrics back to how they re driving business.”

Once we are clear on business objectives, then and only then can we look at the tactical options that are available today. Because as Matthew Stockbridge (Mondelez International) stated: “There’s no “new media”, just media. It’s about what’s the right media for a campaign to get messages across, based on what the creative idea and the audience are.”


Use Big Data to understand the consumer… but don’t overdo it 

The amount of data available today means that “you can better serve your customers by knowing and then predicting what they want” (Karen Boswell, Adam & Eve DDB).  And that’s great news for marketers, right? 

However there is a dark side to big data. Mark Earls (Herd) notes that “people are beginning to feel uncomfortable about the amount of data that’s available and how it is used”. They are increasingly reluctant to share their personal data. They want to know what way it’s going to be used, and will only share it if we provide enough value in return. As Nicola Millard (BT Global) puts it: “If I share data with you, what am I going to get back? Do you make life easier for me? Do you personalize stuff? Do you remind me of things that I really want to be reminded of?” 

And then there’s the ongoing argument between data and creativity, the fear that algorithms and programmatic are making marketing dull and predictable. Consultant Michelle Goodall illustrates: “We live in a bubble through social media and our search habits. Nobody is delighting me anymore! I’m getting stuff around my age […] but I don’t want that! I want to be surprised and delighted! So how can we continue to surprise and delight people, but also give them what they want?”

The answer could lie in Shane O’Leary’s suggestion that  “it’s not about data OR creativity. The value is in the overlap. Data needs something built on top of it. Creativity needs some data to give us that insight.” 


Improving customer experience: AI Vs. Humans 

If there’s one thing all marketers can agree on, it’s the importance of customer experience. “Marketing isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do. About every single touchpoint that customers have with your brand. It’s the smallest thing you fail to think about, that is the thing that undermines your product, your brand and your business” (Scott Morrison, Think Sprint). Marketa Mach from IBM iX adds that “it’s a focus on customer experience that’s going to lead to differentiation. CX pays in business performance as it does in customer satisfaction”. 

The question that arises today is: will new technologies such as AI help brands improve CX, or are they deteriorating it by removing human interaction? 

One thing that AI does well is fulfilling the consumer’s increasing need for instant gratification, for example in retails where AI can assist customer service, as highlighted by Karen Boswell.

On the other hand, social media marketer Amanda Webb observes that “being human and trustworthy is what people are looking for now. We’re going back to doing business with the local shopkeeper”. 

Either way, Lisa Wood (Atom Bank) acknowledges that “we need to start thinking now about AI and what it’s going to do to the marketing landscape, because it’s going to be a different skillset and a very different engagement with our customers. AI is changing how we interact with customers”. Matthew Stockbridge adds that it’s still unclear what is a clever or a terrible use of AI, and opinions on specific campaigns are often divided. But he argues that “as long as trends are causing conversations and dividing people, those are the things we need to be aware of”.

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A Day in the Life of... Jane Madden, Head of Strategy at Vizeum

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 29 March 2017
Updated: Monday 27 March 2017

jane madden vizeum

The Marketing Institute: What does a Head of Strategy at Vizeum do?

Jane Madden: My role is to work with the senior teams in Vizeum to craft client business strategy and ensure the brand and brand idea are not lost in media. That means being an independent voice, a good listener and willing to challenge. I listen to what the brief is, and what we know of the task at hand. Much of my time is spent articulating where a brand should sit, how it should be positioned and the impending challenges the business is facing.


MII: What were your key career moves to get to your current role?

J.M: The biggest decision was moving from creative to media. Culturally, it was a very big adjustment and a steep learning curve. I was apprehensive of such a shift but now that media is a living platform for brands and consumers to engage, it meant my skills were transferable.


MII: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

J.M: The biggest challenge I have faced in my role is adjusting to a different culture and getting my head around the world of media and data. I had been a planner in a creative agency for 15 years and I felt I needed to broaden my skills and challenge myself. Moving into media means that I can continue to add value in a changed consumer and creative context.  


MII: What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?

J.M: You need to be articulate and passionate. I will never be the person in the room who knows the most about media, but my experience means I can bring brand thinking, and an understanding of brand and communications, to bear on all our clients business. It’s important to be able to communicate that knowledge clearly and in a way that motivates or excites others in the room.


MII: Describe a typical working day.

J.M: My job means I can be working on anything from a pitch to a rebranding to understanding the role of media in future proofing a client’s business; so I need to keep a broad perspective. Every morning, after I have gone through my mails I take about twenty minutes to have a quick scan of  ‘the news’. For me, that includes everything; newspapers, Instagram, WARC, Campaign, Adworld etc. The rest of the day is never typical. I can be attending meetings, writing presentations, doing desk research, working on a brand positioning, or pitching for new business.


MII: What do you love most about your role?

J.M: The thing I love most about my role is that I am constantly learning. Like all aspects of communications, media is changing. Focusing on how media can become a route to market for our clients and be a tool for growth is exciting.


MII: Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?

J.M: It’s very hard to say. I am happy in my job and as we at Vizeum continue to evolve and expand our skillset, I think I will continue to be challenged. Vizeum is a progressive agency with big plans and I know I can both add a huge amount to those plans but also learn and develop my skills at the same time too.


MII: To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

J.M: I have had great influences in my professional life and there are a number of women I admire within the industry. Karen Hand has always been a great advocate for planners and planning and has been a great mentor to me. I also greatly admire Emer Howard who has been instrumental in putting real creative planning back on the map. 

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