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Guaranteed Irish appoints Brid O’Connell MMII as its new Executive Director

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Tuesday 6 December 2016
Updated: Monday 5 December 2016

brid o'connell

Guaranteed Irish has named Brid O’Connell, founder and director of Welcome Marketing and member of the Marketing Institute, its new Executive Director.

2016 has been a tumultuous year for many businesses. Guaranteed Irish has taken this opportunity to adapt to a changing environment and has undergone a rebrand and repositioning. One of the key changes is that the organisation now accepts members that conduct a significant proportion of their business in Ireland, as well as indigenous firms.  

Brid said her ambitions in this new role are to bring the business membership organisation into the 21st century with a focus on digital communications, and to foster job creation in the Irish economy.

“We need to maintain and grow awareness of the benefits of doing business in Ireland.  That’s what Guaranteed Irish is all about.” She said. “So we’re back, bigger and better than ever. We are ambitious for our organisation, for our members and for the communities in which they create employment”. 


For more information on Guaranteed Irish visit

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Trending 2017 Report

Posted By Foresight Factory, Wednesday 30 November 2016
Updated: Tuesday 29 November 2016

Trending 2017 Report

Trending 2017 is the latest edition of Foresight Factory’s annual report looking ahead to the next 12 months, examining consumer trends and behaviour. Now in its twentieth year, Foresight Factory (formerly Future Foundation) is the world’s leading independent trends agency, partnering with their clients to help them Own the Future through understanding and commercially exploiting consumer trends.

This report is drawn from multiple insight sources including: Foresight Factory’s rolling annual research with 40,000+ online respondents across 25 global markets; qualitative insights from social media listening research; commentary from their global network of 500 Trendspotters and 1000s of fresh examples of commercial innovation across 20 key industry sectors.

The data is analysed by Foresight Factory’s team of in-house experts who adjust for regional differences and compare the results against third party data sources to unearth, monitor and forecast the salient trends that will guide consumer behaviour and commercial expectation in 2017 and beyond. The ultimate purpose? To help companies and brands determine how to act.

Respondents to the survey are aged 16+ and the sample is weighted to be nationally representative of the offline population across age, gender and region.


Go to to download full report


Foresight Factory, formerly Future Foundation, works with some of the world's leading companies to help them 'Own the Future'.

Globally headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Singapore and Stockholm they are masters of prediction, constantly scouring the globe to pick apart behaviour, spotting trends and disruption before they happen.

Their principal delivery? A unique and highly customisable digital platform, FFonline, that marries best-in-class data science with editorial creativity, to give their 200+ clients 24/7 access to predictive insights from 50,000 consumer voices and a global network of 500 Trendspotters across 28 markets. They also offer consultancy, undertaking custom projects to help clients answer complex questions.

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Consumer spending in Ireland feeling the pinch following Brexit - Latest Consumer Market Monitor Report

Posted By The Marketing Institute & UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Thursday 24 November 2016
Updated: Wednesday 23 November 2016

Overall rate of growth has slowed by approximately 50% in Q3
Q3 accommodation and food services have fallen from a growth rate of 13-14% in the first half of the year to 3.4% 
Only 2% of housing stock is changing hands indicating a serious supply problem
Household debt in Ireland remains high by international standards, at 153% of disposable income compared with a Eurozone average of just over 90%

The recovery of the Irish consumer economy that was powering ahead through the first half of 2016 has slowed significantly in recent months. This softening trend has affected almost all categories of services and retail, in what may be seen as a Brexit effect. This is one of the key findings of the latest quarterly Consumer Market Monitor (CMM) jointly published today by the Marketing Institute of Ireland and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Data from the Q3 2016 Monitor indicates that the consumer economy in Ireland is experiencing a slight dampener on what has been a steady recovery since the beginning of 2014. The key question is whether this is a temporary blip or a sign of a deeper malaise that has been precipitated by Brexit. 


Mary Lambkin, Professor of Marketing, UCD Smurfit School and one of the authors of the Monitor, said: “A reassuring factor is that the fundamental factors underpinning the consumer economy are still very strong and should provide a counter-balance to any external shocks. In particular, employment stands at 2.015 million right now, and is continuing to grow.”

Tom Trainor, Chief Executive, The Marketing Institute of Ireland, said: “Notwithstanding the backdrop of economic recovery, the monitor has identified a slowdown that serves to remind us of the need for continued vigilance and purposeful action to ensure we stay on track.”


Following a very strong first half year, the Irish consumer economy has slowed down across all sectors in Q3 of 2016. This may owe something to the Brexit vote in the UK, and the knock-on effect on the value of the sterling. It may also have been influenced by the lengthy political uncertainty here at home over the formation of a new government. 

While it is never good to see economic weakness, two points are worth noting about the recent figures. Firstly, the slowdown in the third quarter is relatively modest - it is a softening of the growth rate rather than an actual decline. In this respect, it looks more like a temporary blip rather than a fall from a cliff such as we experienced in 2009. Secondly, the economic fundamentals on which the consumer economy is built remain strong.

The improvement in the labour market has been a critically important factor driving the consumer economy and this remains very positive. There are now 2.015 million people at work, up 56,200 year-on-year, and up by 190,000 or 10% since the low point in 2012. Pay increases have also contributed, up 2% on average in 2015, and up by a similar percentage this year.

This increasingly healthy employment situation drives the amount of disposable income circulating in the economy, and the evidence shows that spending very closely matches income. In fact, there has been a remarkable increase in disposable income in recent times - it increased by 5% in 2015, and by a similar amount this year. 

Another important influence on consumer spending is household wealth, which comes mainly from the value of our homes, as well as other savings and investments. After a long slump, Irish household wealth is increasing again as property values recover and progress is being made in paying down debt. Under normal circumstances, perceptions of increasing wealth increase consumer confidence, encouraging people to release funds for spending on various things.

Unfortunately, circumstances were not normal during much of this year, and this had a downward effect on consumer confidence. Recent quarters have seen the first interruption to a steadily upward trend in confidence since 2013. Political uncertainty here at home and concerns over Brexit have weakened confidence slightly, but there has been nothing like the collapse in confidence that has occurred in the UK. 

Confidence is still relatively strong here and is driving a steady, if not spectacular, increase in consumer spending that is producing better sales performance in most retail and service sectors. Some of this reflects pent up demand following a long period of recession, and this can be seen most clearly in growing sales of big-ticket items - new cars, home furnishings, clothing and other consumer durables - all of which are continuing to grow well, even in the most recent quarter.

Sales of new cars are everywhere, a bellwether of economic recovery, and Ireland is no exception. Following several lean years, sales of new cars were up over 30% last year to 121,110. New car registrations were up by a further 30% in the first half of 2016, but this slowed to 19% in Q3, for a year-to-date total of 136,044. Sales of imported second hand cars have been particularly strong, up 35% for the year to the end of September. This possibly reflects the weakening of sterling which makes imports more affordable.

Retail sales excluding the motor trade grew strongly in 2015, with volume up 6.1% for the year, and value up 2.7%. This rate of growth continued in the first half of 2016, with volume up by 5.5% and value by 2.7%. However, growth slowed to about half that rate in Q3, with volume up by 3.2% and value by 1.3% year-on-year. 

Sales of services have also shown a two-tier pattern in 2016, up by 4.7% in Q3 year-on-year, compared to a 7% growth rate in the previous quarter. Worryingly, accommodation and food services fell quite dramatically, from a growth rate in double digits (13-14%) in the first half of the year to 3.4% in Q3. In contrast, information and communications held up well, continuing to grow in double digits in Q3, following spectacular growth in previous quarters (up 21% year-on-year).

Residential property is the sector under the most pressure, and this has been the case even before Brexit came into sight. There were 47,313 homes purchased in 2015 and 22,767 mortgages issued for purchase, accounting for about 50% of purchase transactions. 

There were 30,500 homes purchased in the first three quarters of 2016, 10% lower than the same period in 2015. Cash-buyers accounted for 46% of transactions, with just 16,343 mortgages issued, up just 2.2% from the same period in 2015. 

Only 2% of housing stock is changing hands currently, half the EU average, which is indicative of a supply problem. This problem is largely due to a shortage of supply and this, in turn, is driving up prices which is damaging affordability. This is a complex problem and will take some time to solve.



Following a drop in consumer confidence during the recession years, optimism among consumers regarding their economic prospects recovered significantly. It began to pick up in 2013, and rose further through 2014 due to a steady flow of good news on employment, tax receipts, and growth in services and manufacturing. 

This upward trend continued in 2015, reaching a record high in June, and remained strong through the rest of the year. Consumer confidence in Ireland was now well ahead of the last peak in 2007, and well ahead of our European neighbours.

Unfortunately, consumer confidence has fallen steadily during the first three quarters of 2016, reflecting uncertainly about the new government, industrial unrest, and Brexit. 

Consumer confidence in the UK has also seen a significant drop in Q3 2016 in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. This continuing downward trend is forecast to have a major impact on consumer spending in the coming quarters.



Household disposable income rose by 5.5% in 2015 to a total of €98 billion, due to a combination of expanding employment and increasing pay rates. There are now 2.015 million people at work, up 190,000 or 10% from the lowest point in 2012. Pay increases of 2% were common in 2015, and this trend has continued in 2016.

Consumer spending turned a corner in 2014, when it grew by 2%, and it grew by a very strong 4.5% in 2015. Personal spending has continued to grow this year, with 4% forecast for the year as a whole, and 3-4% in 2017. Recent figures suggest a slight slowdown, however, with a 3.5% rise in Q1 2016, and 2% in Q2, year-on-year. VAT receipts were up 5.1% cumulatively to the end of Q3, more or less in line with consumer spending, but below the 7% growth rate of the previous two years. 



The ratio of household debt to disposable income has fallen by a remarkable 60% since its peak of 215% in mid-2011, and is continuing to reduce by about 2% per year. However, household debt in Ireland remains relatively high by international standards, at 153% of disposable income. This compares with a Eurozone average of just over 90%.

Loans for house purchase, which account for 84% of household loans, peaked in Q1 2008 at €124 billion but decreased to €75 billion by the end of Q3 2016, a cumulative decline of 40%, or an annual rate of -2.4%. 

On the positive side, household savings almost doubled this year, to 9.5% of gross disposable income, up from 5% in 2014. This increase was driven by a rise in housing values as well as a decline in debts. 

Household net worth stood at €626 billion, or €135,080 per capita, at the end of 2015. In fact, household net worth has risen by 41% since the post-crisis low in mid-2012, but it is still 12.8% lower than its peak in mid-2007.



Following five years of decline, retail sales achieved a significant turnaround in 2014, with volume up by 3.7% and value by 1.6%. 

The recovery accelerated in 2015, with sales volume up by an impressive 6.1% and value up by 2.7% for the year. This growth in sales exceeded the growth in footfall (up 1.6%) providing evidence of a real uplift in spending. 

The first half of 2016 delivered strong sales growth for most retailers, up by a very strong 5.5% in volume and 2.7% in value year-on-year. Retail sales have continued to grow in Q3, but at a slightly slower rate of 3.2% in volume and 1.3% in value, year-on-year. 



The latest indicators for 2016 show a year of two halves. Spending in all categories increased strongly in the first half of the year, but the rate of growth has slowed to about half of the previous rate in the third quarter.

New car registrations in the first half of 2016 were up 30%, but this has slowed to 19% in Q3, for a total of 136,044. This suggests a final figure of about 150,000 cars for 2016 which is approaching the average sales level of the early 2000s. 

Retail sales excluding the motor trade grew strongly in 2015, with volume up 6.1% for the year, and value up 2.7%. This rate of growth continued in the first half of 2016, with volume up by 5.5% and value by 2.7%. Growth slowed to about half that rate, however, in Q3, with volume up by 3.2% and value by 1.3% year-on-year. 

All product categories except books/newsagents experienced growth in Q3 2016, but at a significantly lower rate than previous quarters. Household equipment which combines furnishings, electrical goods, hardware, paints and glass, was the only category to show continuing strong growth in Q3.

Food sales up 5.8% in volume and up 5.2% in value; 
Non-specialised stores (supermarkets) up 3.0% in volume and 2.5% in value; 
Fuel up 1.5% in volume and down -5.1% in value;
Clothing, footwear & textiles up 2.7% in volume and 2.3% in value; 
Household equipment up 7.0% in volume and 2.2% in value;
Department stores up 2.6% in volume and 1.7% in value;
Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics up 1.5% in volume and 1.1% in value;
Bar sales up 2.6% in volume and up 3.3% in value;
Books, newspapers, stationery down -5.6% in volume and -4.8% in value.

Overall, the indications are that while retail sales are still growing, the rate of growth has slowed in the third quarter. The final quarter, which is usually the most important period of the year for retailers, will be an important test, to determine whether Brexit is likely to have an enduring influence on our consumer economy.










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RTÉ celebrates World TV Day with Agency TV Takeover

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Tuesday 22 November 2016
Updated: Tuesday 22 November 2016


On 21st November, RTÉ once again celebrated World Television Day, a European initiative to promote the power of television.

Following last year’s success, RTÉ created an even bigger event with a campaign entitled “shared Moments”. The concept was a series of vignettes starring 19 staff members from agencies Core Media, Group M, Omnicom, Dentsu Aegis, IPG Mediabrands, Javelin, Havas Media and Focus Advertising. 

All contributors were filmed in their respective agency and talked about well-known RTÉ television moments.

RTÉ AdLab, RTE's commercial creative unit, produced the executions, which aired on RTÉ One on the evening of 21st November. 

Learn More on


Tags:  #WeLoveTV  World TV Day 

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Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Monday 14 November 2016

We're supporting Inner City Helping Homeless with their Christmas Shoebox Appeal.

Inner City Helping Homeless - a Dublin volunteer organisation - is appealing for Irish people to put together Christmas shoe-boxes for the homeless in Dublin city centre.

The items included won't break the bank, so if you would like to donate a shoebox , please do the following:

• Pick a shoe box and mark it Male or Female

• Fill the shoebox with essentials such as socks, underwear, hats, scarves, gloves, sweets, chocolate and toiletries. *No aerosols, perfumes, aftershave mouthwash or hand sanitiser

• Deliver your shoebox before Friday 2nd December 2016 to:

The Marketing Institute, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18

It would be nice to wrap the box up in some festive wrapping paper but make sure to wrap the lid and the box separately so that the contents can be double checked.

Inner City Helping Homeless

The MII will arrange delivery to Inner City Helping Homeless Office.

If you have any questions please email

Tags:  Christmas  Inner City Helping Homeless  Shoebox Appeal 

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