Core wins two 2020 European Search Awards

  • The company took home the awards for ‘Best Use of Search in the Third Sector / Not-for-Profit’ and ‘Best Integrated Campaign’

Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, has been awarded ‘Best Use of Search in the Third Sector / Not-for-Profit’ and ‘Best Integrated Campaign’ at the renowned European Search Awards, which were presented remotely this year. The awards recognise digital marketing excellence and celebrate the very best in SEO, PPC, Digital and Content Marketing in Europe.

The ‘Best Use of Search in the Third Sector / Not for Profit’ category recognises a campaign that has successfully enhanced the visibility of a website of a charity or not for profit organisation. Core won this award for its campaign with Trócaire entitled ‘Discovering the Key Donor’. The charity sector is extremely competitive across paid search at Christmas and Trócaire wanted to find a way to stand out from the crowd and offer something unique. A key factor to Core’s success in delivering this award-winning campaign was spending time to comb through the analytics to better understand the needs of the target audience. From having this clear audience understanding, Core was able to execute a successful strategy that would best target a slightly older audience. The result was a marketing ROI of over 600%.

In addition, Core also won the award for the ‘Best Integrated Campaign’ following its work with HomeSecure, Ireland’s fastest growing security company. Facing the challenge of a highly competitive market and unable to compete in terms of brand awareness, HomeSecure and Core leveraged the flexibility of a smaller business, facilitating better collaboration. Bringing the teams closer together meant that the sales team on the ground could help inform the media teams about the leads being driven. The campaign was centred around data driven insights to identify new opportunities and reach HomeSecure’s target audience while capturing leads.

This collaborative effort between Core and the Sales and Marketing teams at HomeSecure helped the security company to not only expand its business but also achieve international recognition, proving that even the smallest brands can make a big impact.

Shane Lyons, Head of Search Strategy at Core commented: “We are delighted to have won ‘‘Best Use of Search in the Third Sector / Not for Profit’ and ‘Best Integrated Campaign’ at this year’s European Search Awards. Our unique approach allows us to solve our clients’ problems by creating actionable strategies, enabling them to create stronger customer relationships that translate into sales.”

Core employs a team of 310 people and consists of nine practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Recruitment, Research, Sponsorship and Strategy. Core has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last six years at the Media Awards and the company was also recently voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the tenth year running.

@Core_IRL

Christmas FM announces ALONE as official charity partner for 2020

Christmas FM aims to raise over €200,000 for ALONE to help give the gift of home this Christmas by providing over 20,000 hours of vital support to older people aging at home

Christmas FM is delighted to announce ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, as the official charity partner for the festive radio station for 2020.

The radio station is aiming to raise over €200,000 which will go directly towards ALONE’s mission to provide support coordination, befriending, and access to all of ALONE’s services to thousands of older people every week who are homeless, socially isolated, living in deprivation or in a crisis. Donations from listeners will enable ALONE to provide over 20,000 hours of vital support to older people in Ireland enabling them to live happily and independently in their own homes and communities, as there is no place like home – especially at Christmas time.

Christmas FM will be celebrating its 13th year on air this year when it launches in November and, since it began broadcasting, has raised almost €2.5 million for a range of charities. The costs of running Christmas FM are covered by various sponsors, ensuring that all on-air fundraising and donations will go directly to ALONE.

Garvan Rigby, co-founder of Christmas FM, says:

‘2020 has been an unprecedented and tough year on us all but especially on the older generation. ALONE is a very special organisation who, now more than ever, need our help and we are delighted to be partnering with them for Christmas FM this year.”

“The radio station creates a feel-good festive factor that is unrivalled anywhere else, and we look forward to sharing that with everyone at ALONE – staff, volunteers and, of course, all who avail of its wonderful service. As sponsorship pays the running costs of the radio station, this means that all monies raised on air through donations can go directly to ALONE and we look forward to raising as much as possible this year for such a worthy cause.”

ALONE was founded by Dublin fireman Willie Bermingham in 1977. During a cold winter in 1976, Willie and his colleagues found the remains of a number of older people in tenements throughout the city. Willie was so shocked by the appalling conditions they had died in that he, and a small group of friends and colleagues began distributing food, fuel and blankets to those older people who were most in need. Today, ALONE continues its work providing direct services to thousands of older people as well as campaigning for the rights of older people in our society.

Commenting on the charity partnership with Christmas FM, Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said:

“The ALONE community are delighted to be the named charity partner for Christmas FM this year. Our “Give the Gift of Home” campaign resonates so highly and thoughtfully with what we hope to achieve through this partnership – raising necessary funds to enable older people to stay in their homes for as long as they wish. Loneliness, poverty, homelessness, housing and medical issues, unfortunately, can be indiscriminate. We have an ageing population, which is a great accomplishment we can be celebrating, but as a result of this we are also witnessing an ever-increasing cohort of older people facing the above challenges – never thinking they could be the one.”

“We are determined to make this the best and most meaningful Christmas ever as COVID-19 has made this such a trying year for all individuals. Our older generation have been asked to cocoon making their home the only safe location for them. We want everyone’s house to be a home and we hope we can achieve this through our Christmas FM partnership this year.”

To find out more about ALONE visit www.alone.ie, follow @ALONE_IRELAND on Twitter or visit ALONE Ireland on Facebook.

Christmas FM plays round-the-clock Christmas tunes, spreading an abundance of festive cheer and seasonal goodwill every single day in the run up to Christmas. Broadcasting almost nationwide, Christmas FM is listened to by almost one in three adults. It is entirely funded through sponsorship and run each year by more than 100 volunteers on-air, devoting hundreds of hours of their time. The station is also available online.

Christmas FM launches in November with an exact date for launch TBC.

Follow Christmas FM on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram:

@christmasfm

www.christmasfm.com

Christmas FM – Bringing You the Magic of Christmas

Lisney’s new property podcast series offers expert insights and advice across all aspects of the Irish property market

The Lisney Property Podcast will help market enthusiasts navigate the landscape in the Covid-19 climate

Lisney, Ireland’s largest independently-owned property advisory company, has launched a new podcast series which offers another way for clients and property enthusiasts to stay connected to the latest news in all aspects of the Irish property market.

The ‘Lisney Property Podcast’ features weekly episodes which can be found on the firm’s website and across all other social media platforms. Featuring a host of Lisney experts operating across all aspects of the property market, each episode offers a unique insight into how the market has responded to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and what can be expected into Q3 2020.

Featured episodes turn a spotlight on the following operational areas:

  • Residential
  • Lettings
  • Development Lands / Industrial
  • Offices
  • Retail
  • License & Leisure
  • the property market in Cork

David Byrne, Managing Director of Lisney, says:

“Property, like all other markets, has been affected in different ways by the Covid-19 crisis. During this time, our key focus at Lisney is staying continually connected to our client base. I’m proud of the building blocks we have laid to ensure we maintain our strong client relationships, as well as constructing new ones. We know that the depth and quality of our research and advice is what positions us so strongly as the firm of choice for discerning property enthusiasts in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. Our podcast series is another channel for us to offer clients our insights and to reach our audience, and I know the knowledge that’s being showcased in each episode will be very beneficial to anyone who follows or has an interest in the property market in Ireland.”

The Lisney Property Podcast drops every Thursday and this week’s episode can be found here:

Association of Advertisers in Ireland appoints Diageo’s Constance Balsamo as Vice-President

The Association of Advertisers in Ireland (AAI), the national advocacy group for promoting the interests of advertisers, has appointed Constance Balsamo as its new Vice-President. Constance serves as Head of Alcohol Policy and Public Affairs for Ireland at Diageo, and was previously Diageo’s Head of the EU Internal Market in Brussels.

In her current role with Diageo Constance focuses on alcohol regulation and drives the development of responsible drinking initiatives while also overseeing marketing compliance.

She also has extensive industry experience across Europe. Prior to joining Diageo, she spent a number of years in Brussels and Zurich, where she worked with global communications agency Kreab, and as a public policy advisor with financial services firm UBS. Constance holds a bachelor degree in Chinese language and civilisation and a master’s degree in social science and economics.

She takes up her new role as Vice-President of the AAI after serving as a board member of the organisation since 2017. Her appointment follows that of Derek Liddy, Head of Digital Marketing at Aer Lingus, to the role of President, and completes the AAI’s new leadership team.

Welcoming Constance’s appointment as Vice-President of the AAI, Barry Dooley, Chief Executive of the AAI, said: “Constance has made a significant contribution to the AAI since joining the Board three years ago and I look forward to continuing to work with her and our new President Derek Liddy in these challenging times.

“Advertisers have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the industry must continue to innovate while maintaining its high standards into the future. With our new leadership team in place, the AAI will continue to provide strong representation for our members and the advertising industry as a whole, promoting its value at every level as a strong driver of the Irish economy.”

Commenting on her appointment, Constance Balsamo, Vice-President of the AAI, said: “I’m delighted to take up this role with the AAI following my work with the other board members over the past few years.

“Now more than ever advertisers and brand marketers need to come together to ensure the sector continues to thrive. The AAI is central to these efforts and I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues and our President Derek Liddy to achieve our aims.”  

The Association of Advertisers in Ireland was established in 1951, to advance the commercial interests of advertisers by advocating for the right to responsible self-regulation and fair competition.

The AAI provides its members with a forum for intelligent exchange, access to a network of industry leaders and opportunities to shape policies that impact commercial communication.

www.aai.ie

@TheAAI

Core creates new TV campaign for The National Lottery

Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, has developed a new tv campaign for the National Lottery in Ireland entitled ‘Dreams Can Come True’.

The charming advert tells a story of a golfer named Taidgh who loves golf but is not very good at the game. However, Taidgh has a dream and one day takes a shot that through a spectacular chain of events gives him a hole in one. The aim of the campaign is to show that the National Lottery makes dreams come true and it could be you.

Speaking about the new campaign, Chief Marketing Officer, Paul Dervan commented:

”The National Lottery marketing team have worked very closely with Core across Creative, Strategy and Media to create a highly memorable and hopefully enjoyable campaign that has a feel of the many classic ads you’d expect from the National Lottery.”

Liam Wielopolski, Executive Creative Director at Core added: “We were tasked with developing a campaign that would help bring that winning experience to life. The new ad is inspired by the tag line that sums up what playing the National Lottery is all about – that anyone who buys a ticket has the chance of winning, showing that dreams can come true.”

Client Team:

Paul Dervan, Michael Hayes, Maebh Gleeson and Joan Hallinan

Director: Damien O’Donnell

Producer: Anne-Marie Curran

Executive Creative Director: Liam Wielopolski

Creative Director: Mike Garner

Copywriter: Eoin O’Brien

Art Director: Paddy Geraghty

Agency Producer: Fiona McGarry

Editor: Jake Walshe

VFX: Allen Sillery

Sound: Locky Butler

Client Partner: Geoff McGrath

Client Director: Orla Reaper-Reynolds

Strategy Directors: Andy Pierce, Shane Doyle

To view the National Lottery of Ireland’s new advert please visit: https://we.tl/t-jjBhkKUwdL

Core employs a team of 310 people and consists of nine practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Recruitment, Research, Sponsorship and Strategy. Core has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last six years at the Media Awards and the company was also recently voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the tenth year running.

For further details, please check out www.onecore.ie

@Core_IRL

Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland releases latest Complaints Bulletin

  • 5 advertisements found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Principals/Decency & Propriety, Misleading/Substantiation/Presentation and Alcohol

29 July 2020 – The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee has released its latest Complaints Bulletin, which contains 7 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the organisation.

5 of the 7 advertisements were found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds related to Principles/Decency & Propriety, Misleading/Substantiation/Presentation and Alcohol. The advertisements complained of related to Regional Press, Television, Online and Outdoor advertising. The ASAI Complaints Committee chose not to uphold two consumer complaints.

The Complaints Committee is a completely independent arm of the ASAI and is responsible for considering and adjudicating on complaints submitted by the public, by an organisation, by a Government Department or any other person or body. The Committee is made up of a range of experts from the advertising, media, education, consumer and marketing sectors. See further details here – http://www.asai.ie/about-us/complaints-committee

Commenting on the latest ASAI rulings, Orla Twomey, Chief Executive of the ASAI, stated:

“The latest complaints bulletin from the ASAI illustrates our ability to handle complaints across a large number of mediums. The main role of advertising self-regulatory organisations (SROs), such as the ASAI, is to ensure that ads and other marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent and honest, prepared with a sense of social responsibility to the consumer and society and with proper respect for the principles of fair competition.”

“The ASAI is committed to protecting society in relation to advertising across all mediums. Self-regulatory ad standards provide an additional layer of consumer protection which complements legislative controls and offers an easily accessible means of resolving disputes.”

“The ASAI provide a free and confidential copy advice service to the advertising industry to help them create responsible ads. If an advertiser, agency or medium has any concerns about a marketing communications’ compliance with the ASAI’s Code, they can contact us and avail of the free and confidential copy advice service.”

Professor Bairbre Redmond, Independent Head of the Complaints Committee of the ASAI, says:

“Over the past few years, the Complaints Committee, comprised of independent and industry members, has dealt with a broad range of complaints. The Complaints Committee has also spent considerable time highlighting awareness in relation to advertising best practice within the advertising industry, ensuring all relevant parties are equipped with the knowledge and resources to correctly identify commercial marketing content across their platforms.”

Below is a list of complaints that have been found to be in breach of the ASAI Code:

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
  Procter & Gamble     Principles/Decency & Propriety    84 complaints were received in relation to the “Tampons & Tea” advert.   Issue 1 – General Offence Some complainants considered it to be offensive and inappropriate to talk about such a sensitive topic in the manner portrayed and that the content had been over-descriptive, inappropriately expressed and with excessive detail.   In breach of section 3:16 of the Code   Complaints Upheld.   Issue 2 – Demeaning to Women Some complainants considered the advertising to be demeaning to women and belittled them.   Complaints Not Upheld.   Issue 3 – Sexual Innuendo Some complainants considered the phrase “get ‘em up there, girls” to have sexual connotations.   Complaints Not Upheld.   Issue 4 – Suitability for Children Some complainants considered the advertising to be unsuitable for daytime television while children may be watching and said it should not have aired before 9pm.   Complaints Not Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/health-and-beauty-13/
  System 10    Principles/Health& Beauty/Slimming    The complainant objected to the advertising on the following grounds:   Issue 1: The complainant said while there were studies that had found metabolism problems in ME or CFS, there were also studies showing brain inflammation and defects with red blood.   In breach of section 11.1 of the Code.   Complaint Upheld.   Issue 2: The complainant objected to paragraph four of the article on the grounds that it could cause harm to an ME patient.   Complaint Not Upheld.   Issue 3: The ASAI Executive requested comments from the advertisers on the weight loss claims contained within the advertisement that featured beside the advertising article.   In breach of section 11.1 of the Code.   Complaint Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/health-beauty-51/  
  Three Ireland (Hutchinson)   Misleading/Substantiation/Availability of Products   The complainant viewed the advertisement and, as an existing customer, wanted to upgrade their phone and avail of the offer. The complainant was advised that the offer was not available to existing customers.    In breach of sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Complaint Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/telecommunications-79/    
  Dunnes Stores   Misleading/Substantiation/Presentation   Three complaints were received regarding the advertising. The complainants considered that the statements “€10 off every €50” and “Get €10 off your next grocery shop with every €50 you spend” were misleading because customers who spent €50 received a €10 voucher off a subsequent shop of €50.   In breach of section 4.1 and 4.4 and 5.5 of the Code.   Complaint Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/retail-7/
  LeCoq Cocktails   Alcohol   Issue 1 The complainant said that the influencer featured in the advertisement was under 25 and therefore should not have appeared in an advertisement promoting alcohol as a prize to a competition.   Issue 2 The complainant also considered that the post had used suggestive sexual content.   Issue 3 The complainant considered that the audience for the advertisement had not been vetted to ensure that it was over 18 years of age and that some of the influencer’s followers may be under 18.   In breach of section 9.7 (a) of the Code.   Complaint Upheld. Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/alcohol-26/  

The following two complaints were investigated and following investigation, the ASAI Complaints Committee chose not to uphold them.

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
  Hidden Hearing     Decency & Propriety   Three complaints were received regarding the advertising.   Issue 1 The advertising was offensive to young people who use hearing aids as it implied that only older people used hearing aids.   Issue 2 One complainant referred to the statement “Are you deaf or something?” being said in a joking manner.   Issue 3 Two of the complainants considered that the advertisement was offensive to deaf people as it equated the ability to hear with being ‘normal’, therefore, implying that deaf people were not normal.   Complaint Not Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/hearing-aids-4/    
  Circle K   Promotions   The complainant considered the advertisement to be misleading in relation to the claim that the fuel card was 100% free, as the terms and conditions stated that there was a fee of €25 for all new account applications.   Complaint Not Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/motoring-36/  

The ASAI conducts ongoing monitoring of advertising across all media and since 2007, has examined over 27,000 advertisements, with an overall compliance rate of 98 per cent. The ASAI Monitoring Service monitors compliance with the Complaints Committee’s adjudications. Advertisements found to be in breach of the Code cannot be accepted for publication.

www.asai.ie

Or follow the ASAI on Twitter @THE_ASAI

wo thirds of people in Ireland have trialled at least one Video On Demand service since March – Core Research

  • 56% scored Netflix as their number one paid subscription service, followed by Amazon Prime and Disney+
  • RTÉ Player has had the largest increase in use during the pandemic, higher than the paid for service – Netflix
  • Almost half say they watched comedy to help them cope with Pandemic stresses

Two thirds (66%) of people in Ireland have tried at least one Video on demand (VOD) service since March, according to new research from Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company. The research looks at the most popular video streaming services in Ireland – Netflix, RTÉ Player, Virgin Media Player, Amazon Prime and Disney+ – their offering, and how these services can convince customers to stay loyal when faced with so much choice. The survey results are based on the views of 1,000 participants, interviewed online and representative of the adult population.

The research revealed the trialling of digital streaming increased significantly during the Stay at Home restrictions, with one in four now using more than one paid video streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime or Disney+. In addition, the increased focus on news and information has provided indigenous players (e.g. RTÉ and Virgin Media) with an opportunity to initially present local relevant content to VOD users, followed up with more light-hearted content to encourage repeat usage.

When asked to choose their preferred paid streaming service, 56% scored Netflix as their number one paid subscription service while Amazon Prime came second, closely followed by Disney+. Comedy, news and fiction were the main strands of content that people watched, with almost half saying they watched comedy to cope with Pandemic stresses. The same number said they watched documentaries – factual storytelling – while the third most watched area of content was news, with 37% using digital video streaming to stay up to date with the headlines.

The report showed that one of the major challenges to streaming services are not other paid for services, but websites and apps offering illegal streaming to people. Over a third of 30 year olds said they used illegal sites to watch content and this increases to 52% for people in their twenties. This generation will therefore need to be convinced that there is value in using an easy to use and trusted service that is good value for money.

Craig Farrell, Head of Media Planning at Core said: “This research reinforces how online viewing is transforming consumer expectations of what it means to watch TV. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in all platforms experiencing different levels of new users –  when viewers learn how to use one digital player, they are more confident to try another. In order to retain users and instil habits formed during Covid, the key for streaming providers will be to invest in culturally relevant content.”

Core employs a team of 310 people and consists of nine practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Recruitment, Research, Sponsorship and Strategy. Core has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last six years at the Media Awards and the company was also recently voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the tenth year running.

To view the full findings of the Core Research report please click here: https://onecore.ie/intel/media/video-streaming-june-2020/

@Core_IRL

News Ireland unveils new nationwide marketing campaign for The Irish Sun

Combination of radio and OOH formats to be utilised in bid to create awareness for the newspaper and attract new readers

News Ireland, one of Ireland’s leading media groups, has unveiled a new nationwide marketing campaign for The Irish Sun, Ireland’s bestselling daily tabloid newspaper. The campaign features a range of out-of-home (OOH) formats, as well as a comprehensive radio schedule and will run across IRS, Media Central and Urban Media.

By communicating the range of great content contained in The Irish Sun on a daily basis – such as Irish and world news, sport, showbiz and celebrity gossip, the campaign aims to widen the appeal of the newspaper to a larger audience, while also maintaining its popularity with existing readers.

OOH formats will feature at key convenience stores and forecourt POS sites across the country, running from 8am to 10pm daily, while two separate radio spots have been developed.

One execution features a wedding ceremony in which the priest has to tell the bride to put down her copy of The Irish Sun during the nuptials. When she tells him that she can’t, as she needs to catch up on the latest sensational news, the priest stops the ceremony as he is so eager to find out the latest celebrity gossip. The second radio spot depicts a customer who goes to a shop to buy milk but is tempted by a seductive voice to pick up a copy of The Irish Sun.

The spots will rotate on radio stations such as iRadio, Spin 1038, Dublin’s 98 FM and FM104. The ads will also feature on Spotify, online ‘listen back’ radio and podcasts. The campaign was created by Pulse, while the media buying was conducted by Mindshare.

Richard Bogie, Managing Director at News Ireland, says: “We focused on developing a comprehensive mix of campaign activity that would help us to communicate our message to as many people as possible. From hard politics to showbiz exclusives and light relief to in-depth investigations, The Irish Sun offers its readers something to start a conversation on every page. This campaign aims to capture the cheeky sense of humour The Irish Sun offers, because everyone needs something to smile about in these uncertain times.”

Check out www.thesun.ie or follow us on @IrishSunOnline

Low-interest loans not the only option on the table when it comes to SME financing says Bibby Financial Services Ireland

Range of supports for businesses planned for July Stimulus welcome but SMEs should be aware of

other options that allow them to remain debt-free as they deal with fallout of Covid-19

Bibby Financial Services Ireland, a leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to Irish SMEs, has welcomed planned efforts by the Government to support SMEs as part of the forthcoming July Stimulus package of economic measures.

However, it has also stressed that SMEs need to be aware of the wider range of financial options available to them as they deal with the ongoing fallout of Covid-19, and that taking on additional debt will be unsuitable for many businesses at this time.

Bibby Financial Services Ireland has instead highlighted the fact that there are many options available to businesses that don’t want to take on additional debt, such as Invoice Finance.

Mark O’Rourke, Managing Director of Bibby Financial Services, says: “SMEs have been severely impacted by the effects of Covid-19, and we welcome the fact that the proposed July Stimulus will include a range of measures to kickstart the economy and the SME sector in particular.

“However, many SMEs will be wary of accruing further debts in the face of mounting overheads. For this reason, businesses should strongly consider the benefits of Invoice Finance, a reliable, tried and tested alternative to taking on long-term debt.

“Invoice Finance can provide SMEs with the fast access to cash they require, but without taking on debt. Instead, businesses can utilise their sales ledger to free up cash from unpaid invoices, and this is then repaid by their customers. With many businesses in the same boat and facing difficulties, average debtor days are creeping up, making Invoice Finance more attractive than ever. Above all it’s vital that SMEs are made aware of all of their finance options at this difficult time.”

75,000 fewer English language students will visit Ireland this year as a result of quarantine measures – Progressive College Network

  • Dramatic drop in students will result in millions of Euro lost across Irish tourism, retail, food and drink and accommodation sectors
  • 9,000 seasonal jobs now under threat with annual revenues for the English language education sector expected to fall up to 90%

Progressive College Network, the representative body for a number of English language schools across Ireland, has warned that up to 75,000 fewer English language students will visit the country this year, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and mandatory quarantine measures. The dramatic drop in student numbers is set to have significant knock-on effects for the economy in the tourism, retail, food and drink and accommodation sectors.

The English language sector is worth an estimated €1.2bn to the Irish economy each year, with thousands of students arriving from countries such as Italy, Spain, Brazil, South Korea and Mexico. However, over 55% of the revenues earned by the sector come through short-term student courses of fewer than three weeks.

The sector supports 5,000 full-time jobs, and 9,000 part-time or seasonal jobs – the majority during the summer months. With mandatory quarantine of two weeks set to remain in place for the foreseeable future, Progressive College Network anticipates a significant fall in student numbers and resulting job losses.

In this changed environment it has also emphasised the importance of schools providing quality online classes for students already in the country.

David Russell, Chairman of the Progressive College Network said: “The measures currently in place will have a devastating impact on the English language sector, as the majority of students will choose not to travel to Ireland rather than spend their first two weeks here in quarantine.

“This in turn will have huge knock-on effects for the tourism sector as host families, travel operators and small businesses up and down the country rely to a great extent on foreign students visiting the country. The worst of the Covid-19 pandemic may be behind us, but with thousands of students unlikely to visit, there is a significant risk of school closures and job losses in the sector.

“It’s important that schools continue to offer high-quality online learning options for students already here, especially as this will allow them to renew their visa for the coming academic year.”

The Progressive College Network was formed in 2015, to meet the demand for an alternate representative body for the private college community in Ireland. Currently it represents over 300 staff members and is responsible for teaching in excess of 3,500 international students annually.

All Progressive College Network institutions are ILEP (Interim List of Eligible Programmes) listed, are fully compliant with any and all regulations and operate to the very highest of standards. Progressive College Network has a bespoke Protection of Enrolled Learners insurance policy that protects students and staff within each of its institutions.