Eighth Amendment is single most important news story in Irish history according to Core Research

First 6 of Top 10 news stories for May 2018 related to women’s issues


The repealing of the Eighth Amendment from the Irish Constitution is the single most important news story in recent Irish history, according to findings from the monthly Cultural Index generated by Core Research.

The Core Research Cultural Index examines awareness amongst the general public of the top news stories making headlines, and the importance of such stories in the context of Irish society and culture. Since January, engagement with the Eighth Amendment campaign has been extremely high – with 86% saying this was important to them, rising to 89% for women.

Having analysed 570 different news stories between 2015 and 2018, these are the highest figures ever achieved for a story, meaning it is the most important story of our recent social history.

While both the Marriage Equality campaign in 2015 and the recent Eighth Amendment campaign had high awareness levels, the Eighth mattered to more people, with 81% of respondents saying the issue was important to them, compared to 73% stating that Marriage Equality was important. This produced a higher Cultural Index and subsequently lead to more people turning out to vote.

The first six of the ten most important, high engagement stories featured on the Core Research Culture Index in May 2018 all related to women’s issues. The full top ten stories deemed of most importance were;

  1. Eighth Amendment is repealed from Constitution
  2. 13 year old boy charged with murder of Ana Kriegel
  3. HSE apologies about the alarm over CervicalCheck
  4. Jastine Valdez abducted and murdered
  5. 126 people wrongfully registered as biological children
  6. Harvey Weinstein charged with rape
  7. GDPR comes into effect
  8. Trump cancelled meeting with Kim Jong-un
  9. Over 30 people killed after clashes in Gaza Strip
  10. Royal Wedding takes place

Finian, Murphy, Planner with Core Research, says this shows a growing, mainstream movement focusing on women’s role in society today: “At the end of 2017, we predicted that Gender Equality would become a key theme in 2018. The stories of May 2018 have highlighted that there is indeed a growing cultural demand that women need to be heard and Governments, institutions, society and brands need to respond.”

The Royal Wedding only featured at 10th place on the Cultural Index. Although the story featured extremely high awareness of 93%, it scored a very low importance rating, with only 25% of the survey population confirming that it was of significance in their lives.

To view the full findings of the Core Research Cultural Index May 2018, please click here:


The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition announce exclusive print media partnership with ‘Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas’

Donna Tartt, Margaret Atwood, Kit de Waal, Bob Geldof, Alison Spittle, Fintan O’Toole, Darina Allen, Dolly Alderton, Cillian Murphy and John Paul Jones among those lined up for event

The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition are delighted to announce an exclusive print media partnership with the upcoming ‘Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas’ which is taking place in the village of Borris in Carlow.

Billed as ‘a few days of heaven for the culturally curious’, the ‘Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas’ promises stimulating dialogue and discourse with over 60 speakers from all over the world, including writers, artists, film-makers, political commentators, poets and musicians.

Now in it’s seventh year, the event has become known for its casual, friendly atmosphere, and for its extraordinary line-up of speakers. Located in the magical surroundings of Borris House, the seat of the High Kings of Leinster, the event has been described by the writer Ian McEwan as “one of the most stimulating literary festivals in the world…”.

Complimentary copies of The Times, Ireland Edition will be gifted to audience members on Friday June 8 and Saturday June 9. Journalists from The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition will also attend to report on the event, providing readers with fascinating insights and colourful reflections on festivities.

Hugo Jellett, co-founder of the event, says: “This festival is a little like a shot in the arm – an inoculation of intelligence, an infusion of fresh thinking, a stimulating draught of bright ideas and real connections. Not dissimilar to what you enjoy when reading either The Sunday Times or The Times, Ireland Edition. Our partnership with the publications has been our number one choice for three years, and that is quite simply because it shares the philosophy of our festival absolutely – built on curiosity, openness and a rare sense of ease, with a hunger for good writing. The readers of these publications are our audience, and we admire greatly the stable of the very finest writers who go to work each day to provide inspiration to their readers.”

Kate Gleeson, Marketing and Sales Manager for The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition says: “This is an absolutely unmissable event on the Irish and international cultural calendar and we are absolutely delighted to be involved. It is a great opportunity for attendees to enjoy stimulating exposure to thinkers and talkers outside their usual orbit. The striking variety of writers who travel to Borris to take part is testament to the high regard with which the festival is held and, as a result, we’re delighted to be the print media partner.”

Below is a snapshot of the events taking place in what is a rich and densely programmed festival, crammed full of fascinating and stimulating discussions:

  • Writers Donna Tartt, Margaret Atwood, Rachel Kushner, Alan Hollinghurst, Patrick McGrath, Kit de Waal, Elizabeth Strout, Philip Hensher and Hanan Al-Shaykh
  • Bob Geldof will feature in the inaugural Doyle Collection Annual Interview
  • Author Colm Toibín will introduce a rehearsed reading by Lisa Dwan of Pale Sister, his new dramatization of the voice of Ismene, sister of Antigone
  • Deirdre O’Kane, Francesca Martinez, and Spitting Image and Not the Nine O’Clock News creators Sean Hardie and John Lloyd (also the brains behind QI) are attending along with Alison Spittle, who will interview Sarah Breen (a Borris native herself!) and Emer McLysaght to discuss their smash-hit novel Oh My God What A Complete Aisling
  • Fintan O’Toole, Una Mullaly and Emmet Kirwan will discuss the result of Repeal the 8th Referendum and its implications in Irish society, while Ivana Bacik will talk to Ibrahim Halawa, the Irishman released after spending four years in an Egyptian prison.
  • Two grandes dames of cuisine Darina Allen and Claudia Roden will chat with fellow chef Rory O’Connell
  • Dolly Alderton and Roisin Ingle will discuss love, Danny Denton and Lisa McInerney will talk about bad girls and bad boys in literature, while war journalist Ben Anderson and photographer Giles Duley will discuss their experience on the frontline in Mosul
  • The trio of author Max Porter, adapter and director Enda Walsh and actor Cillian Murphy, fresh from the extraordinary theatre production of Grief is the Thing with Feathers, will talk through their experience
  • In annual poetry presentations by the T.S. Eliot Foundation, both former American Poet Laureate Billy Collins and Michael Longley read from their work
  • Music features strongly, with John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) discussing his opera project Ghost Sonata. Guy Pratt (guitarist with David Gilmour, Madonna, Roxy Music) and Viv Albertine (The Slits) will be there, while guests will also enjoy a candlelight performance by Iarla Ó Lionáird and fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh of The Gloaming and guitarist Steve Cooney
  • David Dawson will give a talk illustrated by his highly personal photographs of Lucian Freud
  • Other speakers include journalist Misha Glenny, who will talk about organised crime while artist, writer and documentarian Raoul Martinez will discuss radical thinking. Scottish journalist and China specialist Isabel Hilton will give her insights on Chinese environmental awareness and historians Ben MacIntyre, Roy Foster and Margaret MacMillan will explore contemporary global issues


For the full programme, please see:                    http://festivalofwritingandideas.com/


The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition offer readers an in-depth and authoritative mix of news, business, politics and sport as well as insightful opinion and analysis. The publications deliver  well-balanced perspectives on local and international stories as well as offering a range of diverse and thought-provoking views and opinions from top columnists such as Justine McCarthy, Conor Brady,  Anne Marie Hourihane, Lise Hand, Cormac Lucey and Jason O’Mahony.

The print edition of The Times, Ireland Edition is on shelves from Monday to Saturday, while the digital edition is available via tablet app, smartphone app or on www.thetimes.ie. On Sundays, subscribers can obtain access to the digital edition of The Sunday Times or purchase the print edition of the publication.

As well as being well informed on the stories that matter, readers can also enjoy a range of unrivalled lifestyle content – interviews, music, arts, film, theatre, food and beauty – while the digital editions also offer thousands of interactive puzzles and access to a variety of video content, including highlights of GAA and Premiership football matches.


The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition

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Iconic Irish food brands to be showcased at Guaranteed Irish stand at Taste of Dublin festival

Flahavan’s, Ballymaloe Foods and Clonakilty Black Pudding will feature at the Guaranteed Irish display

Some of Ireland’s most iconic food companies, which are members of Guaranteed Irish and proudly display the highly regarded Guaranteed Irish symbol, will be at the Taste of Dublin festival this year.

Products from Flahavan’s, Ballymaloe Foods, Brennans Bread, Clonakilty Black Pudding, Pat The Baker, Manhattan, The Chocolate Garden of Ireland, Tayto, Sheridans Cheesemongers, G’s Gourmet Jams, Kerry Foods and Musgrave will be among those featured at the Guaranteed Irish exhibition space at Taste of Dublin.

Taste of Dublin offers guests the opportunity to mingle with award-winning chefs and like-minded foodies. They can also attend interactive demos and masterclasses, inspiring culinary talks, beer and wine tasting and enjoy some great live entertainment!

Attendees who pop along to the Guaranteed Irish stand will have the opportunity to enter competitions to win hampers packed full of quality Irish products. With such an array of top class products available, the Guaranteed Irish space promises to be a highlight of the festival!

If you would like to be in with a chance to win tickets to visit Taste of Dublin, check out Twitter (@GuaranteedIrl), Instagram (@guaranteed_irish) and Facebook www.facebook.com/GuaranteedIrishOfficial.

Guaranteed Irish, the not-for-profit business membership organisation that champions homegrown and international businesses operating in Ireland, has over 300 member companies, including a significant number from the food and drink industry.

All companies featured at the Guaranteed Irish stand at Taste of Dublin are proud members of the organisation and display the Guaranteed Irish symbol. Only member companies, which are required to meet a range of criteria before attaining membership, are given permission to display the Guaranteed Irish symbol as a badge of provenance and trust.

Brid O’Connell, CEO of Guaranteed Irish, says: “The food and drink industry in Ireland is thriving at the moment and we are passionate about supporting this extremely important sector. The quality of Irish produce is outstanding and our member companies make a significant contribution to the Irish economy. We are keenly aware that this sector is vital to our future growth as a country, so we work continually with our members to spread this important message and encourage consumers to buy from businesses based in Ireland.  

The Guaranteed Irish symbol is recognised at home and all over the world as a sign of provenance and trust, so we are really delighted to be partnering with Taste of Dublin to offer guests the opportunity to see – and taste – the wonderful array of food and drink produced by our member companies.”

Avril Bannerton, Managing Director, Taste of Dublin says: “Taste of Dublin has always championed Irish brands and ingredients and we’re delighted to work with Guaranteed Irish, welcoming even more Irish brands to our ‘Food Lover’s Playground’ – the Taste of Dublin theme this year – which celebrates the wide variety of food and drinks we are now accustomed to in our everyday lives.”

As well as representing food and drink companies, Guaranteed Irish membership spans a range of other sectors including pharmaceutical; healthcare; technology; construction; energy; professional services; manufacturing; tourism; craft and design; retail; lifestyle; and more. Members include KPMG, FBD, Dairygold, MSD, Matheson, Combilift, Ervia, Acme Blinds, Magee 1866, Original Irish Hotels, Gem Pack Foods, Codex Office Solutions, St. Patrick’s Distillery, TanOrganic, Brooke and Shoals, Switcher.ie, and Bord na Móna. The organisation considers three core criteria when assessing an applicant for membership – jobs, community and provenance.

For membership enquiries and to keep up-to-date on Guaranteed Irish news and events:

You will find more details about Taste of Dublin here:


€25 million extension to invoice finance lending facility announced by Bibby Financial Services Ireland and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland

Overall fund of €70 million offers Irish SMEs access to favourable rates

Bibby Financial Services Ireland, a leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to Irish SMEs, are delighted to announce that the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) will be extending their lending facility by an additional €25 million. This increase in funds is available immediately and will enable businesses across Ireland to access favourable rates for invoice finance facilities offered by Bibby Financial Services Ireland.

The SBCI is a state-backed agency created to provide access to greater financing choices for SMEs through a network of finance partners. In 2016, the SBCI partnered with Bibby Financial Services Ireland to make €45 million in funding available to Irish businesses.

The announcement today that the facility is being extended by a further €25 million is testament to the strong partnership between the two organisations, as well as the on-going efforts by the SBCI to drive choice in the Irish lending market.

The funding facility offers SMEs a discount of up to 1.5% on existing invoice finance services offered by Bibby Financial Services Ireland. SMEs can avail of the funding to provide an immediate cash injection, as well as the ongoing working capital required to grow and expand the business. The funding amount is a minimum of €50,000, with a maximum amount of €5 million and the minimum funding facility is for two years.

Mark O’Rourke, Managing Director at Bibby Financial Services Ireland, says: “We are delighted that the partnership between Bibby Financial Services Ireland and the SBCI is working so well, which is reflected in this increase of funds made available to us.  

This additional funding will enable us to support many more Irish businesses, helping them to grow and thrive, at a time where many SMEs are looking to expand both here in Ireland and abroad.

Bibby Financial Services Ireland understands that SME’s are the powerhouse of the Irish economy. Ensuring that the funding needs of SMEs are met in Ireland in 2018 will be paramount to the growth of the economy.  

Many SME owners are unaware of the financing options available to them and tend to opt for traditional unsecured banking products to manage their cash flow – such as an overdraft – when other options might be a better fit for their business.” 

News of the extension of the fund comes in the wake of statistics revealed in the Bibby Financial Services Global Business Monitor, a global survey of SMEs, which shows that 29% of Irish SMEs believe access to finance in Ireland is poor. More than a third (37%) of Irish SME’s also say they use external sources of finance for their businesses.

Furthermore, almost a third of SMEs (32%) suffered from bad debt over the past 12 months. The average amount written off by each business due to customer non-payment or insolvency stands at €13,780. The average number of days for Irish SMEs to receive payment is 36 days, slightly longer than the international average of 34 days. 

Nick Ashmore, CEO SBCI, says: “Today’s announcement clearly demonstrates SBCI’s on-going efforts to deliver greater financing choice to the Irish lending market.  This extension to BFSI’s invoice finance lending facility will see a further €25 million in funding being made available to Irish SMEs and considerably strengthens SBCI’s existing partnership with Bibby Financial Services Ireland. With this additional funding, SMEs that need to grow and scale-up their businesses will be able to access lower cost, more flexible and competitive funding solutions.” 

Bibby Financial Services Ireland (BFSI) helps businesses to thrive and grow in domestic and international markets by providing bespoke financial assistance and a wide range of specialist and working capital funding options.

A member of the Asset Based Finance Association, Bibby Financial Services Ireland’s funding portfolio includes invoice discounting, factoring, export finance, foreign exchange services and specialist funding for a range of sectors.

Bibby Financial Services Ireland is part of Bibby Financial Services Group, an independent financial services partner to over 10,000 businesses across 14 countries. The Irish operation was established in 2006 and has an expert team of 30 employees based in Sandyford, Dublin.

For more information about Bibby Financial Services Ireland, please visit: www.bibbyfinancialservices.ie

The Bibby Financial Services Global Business Monitor 2017 is available here: www.bibbyfinancialservices.ie/global-business-monitor-ireland


Find us on Linkedin or follow us on Twitter @BibbyFinanceIE

Search unveiled for healthcare charities making an IMPACT in their local community

‘GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards’ offers €60,000 in funding to up to 10 community-based healthcare charities

GSK, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, has unveiled the annual ‘GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards’ which recognise and reward community-based charities who contribute to the improvement of people’s health and wellbeing in Ireland.

The company, which employs 1,700 people across four locations in Ireland, is committed to enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer and the ‘GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards’ are a key element of this mission. This will be the fourth year of the ‘GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards’ and they are an expansion of the global healthcare company’s IMPACT awards programme which has been running in the UK and USA for 20 years.

The awards are open to registered charities that are working in a health-related field in Ireland and are at least three years old. Applicants are evaluated using six criteria from which the name ‘IMPACT’ is derived: Innovation, Management, Partnership, Achievement, Community focus and Targeting needs.*

Up to five winning charities will receive €10,000 each in unrestricted funding, while five runner-up charities receive €2,000 each. In addition to the prize money, winning charities also receive a specially commissioned video and photography package to help them promote their work.

Jacinta Collins, Communications Director for GSK, says: “There are thousands of “unsung healthcare heroes” all over the country that operate with purpose and passion to improve people’s health and wellbeing in their community and GSK wants to ensure they receive the recognition they deserve. Since establishing the initiative in Ireland, we have been truly inspired and moved by our wonderful winners and the huge contribution they are making to Irish health on a daily basis. We have every confidence that this year will be no different and we are really looking forward to reviewing the entries we receive.”

Last year, the five winning charities of the ‘GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards’ were:

  • 22Q11 Ireland Support Group Limited – The national Irish charity for individuals and families affected by 22q11.2 deletion/DiGeorge Syndrome/V.C.F.S
  • Blue Teapot Theatre Company – Blue Teapot is a multi-award winning Theatre Company, Performing Arts School and Outreach programme for people with intellectual disabilities at the forefront of arts and disability in Ireland. They are committed to high quality theatre, training and the celebration of creativity.
  • Down Syndrome Centre – The Down Syndrome Centre provides specialist services such as early intervention, speech and language therapy, parent and baby classes to children with Down syndrome.
  • Irish Men’s Shed Association – The Irish Men’s Shed Association (IMSA) is a member-based organisation which exists to maintain links and share information through the network of men’s sheds in Ireland, ensuring men have the opportunity to maintain and improve their well-being on their own terms and within their own communities.
  • Sexual Health Centre – Based in Cork, the Sexual Health Centre provides information and support on sexual health without judgement.


The five runners up were:

  • Alcohol Forum
  • Coeliac Society of Ireland
  • Spinal Injuries Ireland
  • Turn2Me
  • Wexford Mental Health Association


Petal Pilley, Director at Blue Teapot Theatre Company, says: 

“Entering the GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards was in itself an opportunity to evaluate our achievements to date and the services we provide in championing the work of creative people with intellectual disabilities.  

We would encourage others to enter this year or consider entering in the future. To be shortlisted, and therefore recognised for the impact of our work is a huge honour for everyone involved; from the actors, students, tutors, staff, directors, audiences and every single person that has played their part in getting Blue Teapot Theatre Company to the national stages and screens of Ireland and beyond. To quote William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: “I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks!”

You can read more about all of the 2017 winners here:


Organisations interested in applying for the ‘GSK Ireland IMPACT Awards’ must:

  • Be registered and located in the Republic of Ireland and be in existence for at least three years
  • Have a total annual income of between €20,000 and €1 million
  • Target community health needs in Ireland, with community defined as a geographical community or a community of interest
  • Be able to point to a track record of achievement in community health issues


The deadline for applications is 5pm Tuesday, 19th June 2018 and interested organisations can apply here: http://ie.gsk.com/ie/about-us/partnerships/gsk-ireland-impact-awards/

For more information, please visit ie.gsk.com


Guaranteed Irish launch ‘Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Month’ to call on Government to ensure early access to new medicines for patients

  • Organisation currently developing submission paper for Government outlining support required for pharmaceutical sector
  • Opportunity for Guaranteed Irish and Government to work together to establish Ireland as a ‘practice-leader’ in pharmaceutical sector

Guaranteed Irish today announced that ‘Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Month’ will take place in October, highlighting the pivotal role that this sector plays in Ireland’s economy and calling for Ireland to be at the forefront of its European peers in terms of early access to new medicines.

Guaranteed Irish is currently working closely with their members in the pharmaceutical industry to develop a submission paper that will be presented to Government in October. This paper will outline the support required to ensure the pharmaceutical sector remains in robust health in Ireland, with a particular focus on access to new medicines and overcoming existing barriers to continual innovation and R&D.

A range of events to mark ‘Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Month’ will take place during the month of October, including a round-table discussion with key political representatives. With each of the top-ten pharmaceutical companies represented in Ireland, Guaranteed Irish will be asking the Government to work in conjunction with them to establish the country as a ‘practice-leader’ in this field.

Speaking at the launch, Brid O’Connell, CEO, Guaranteed Irish said: “The Irish pharmaceutical sector is thriving, with the world’s top ten pharmaceuticals based here. We are the 7th largest exporter of medicinal and pharmaceutical products in the world and the sector continues to go from strength to strength, providing high tech, exciting career opportunities and contributing significantly to local communities across Ireland. It is crucial that this contribution is recognised by the Irish government. Patients are at the very heart of this industry and we are delighted to be working with MSD Ireland and our other members in this field to highlight the opportunity that Ireland has to be at the forefront of Europe in ensuring faster access for patients to new medicines.” 

Ger Brennan, Managing Director of MSD Ireland (Human Health), added: “MSD has been a proud member of Guaranteed Irish for over ten years, playing an active part in the communities in which we operate and creating sustainable and long-term jobs nationwide. We welcome the announcement that October will showcase the important work conducted in the pharmaceutical sector in Ireland and will highlight the opportunities for Ireland to adopt innovative approaches to ensure patients gain early access to new medicines and treatments. At MSD Ireland, we take a collaborative approach in all that we do and we are committed to working closely with all of our stakeholders to ensure we play a role in delivering innovative approaches and solutions in all elements of our business.” 

In addition to MSD, other leading pharmaceutical and healthcare members of Guaranteed Irish include AbbVie, BD, Hollister Inc., Ipsen, Forest Tosara Ltd, PPL Biomechanics, KCI Medical Ireland and Nutricia Ireland.

Guaranteed Irish is a not-for-profit business membership organisation championing homegrown and international businesses in Ireland. Currently, the 300+ members of Guaranteed Irish employ nearly 50,000 people in Ireland, generating a turnover of €11bn. Only member companies, which are required to meet a range of criteria before attaining membership, are given permission to display the Guaranteed Irish symbol as a badge of provenance and trust.

Membership of the Guaranteed Irish organisation spans all sectors including pharmaceutical; healthcare; technology; construction; energy; professional services; manufacturing; tourism; food and drink; craft and design; retail; lifestyle; and more. Members include KPMG, FBD, Kerry Foods, Matheson, Ervia, Bonkers.ie, Roadstone, Largo Foods, Foxford Woollen Mills, Magee 1866, Dulux, Clonakilty Black Pudding, Irish Country Hotels, Saint Gobain, Irish Pharmacy Union, Bord na Mona and Pat The Baker. The organisation considers three core criteria when assessing an applicant for membership – jobs, community and provenance.


Keep up to date on Guaranteed Irish news here:


Selected at Number 3, List Showcases Public Cloud Companies with the Highest Levels of Employee Satisfaction

Guidewire Software, Inc. (NYSE: GWRE), a provider of software products to Property and Casualty (P&C) insurers, was recognized as one of the 25 Highest Rated Public Cloud Computing Companies To Work For in a new list released by Battery Ventures, a global investment firm, and Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites.

The list highlights 25 publicly traded companies—all business-to-business cloud companies–where employees report the highest levels of satisfaction at work, according to employee feedback shared on Glassdoor.

The distinction placed Guidewire at number 3 (out of 25 total) with an overall company rating of 4.5. The broader average across Glassdoor is 3.4. Guidewire’s CEO, Marcus Ryu, reflects a 97% approval rating on Glassdoor—compared to an average of 69% for all 770,000 employers on the site–and the company has an 89 percent positive business-outlook rating, again based on feedback shared by employees. The broader Glassdoor average is 48%. A positive business outlook means employees believe business will improve in the next six months.

“Since we first partnered with Glassdoor to compile this list in 2016, the cloud has only grown in influence and market power,” said Neeraj Agrawal, a Battery general partner who specializes in cloud investing. “It was also significantly tougher to make the list this year, with companies requiring a higher Glassdoor rating to make the cut—showing that companies can’t rest when it comes to focusing on culture and employee happiness.” Battery and Glassdoor also released a similar list of the 50 Highest-Rated Private Cloud Computing Companies to Work For.

More broadly, “we view these rankings as a key indicator of company health and potential growth,” said Agrawal, who will discuss the lists and their implications at this week’s CloudNY conference, a high-profile, invite-only event for cloud founders and CEOs. Agrawal also serves on the board of Glassdoor. A Glassdoor economic research study, as well as other third party studies, also show that companies with high employee satisfaction often post stronger financial performance.

“It is a great privilege to work with colleagues who share in common purpose: to serve an industry of indispensable importance to our society and to build an enduring culture in the process,” said Marcus Ryu, CEO and co-founder, Guidewire Software. “As more P&C insurers opt for our SaaS solutions, we must demonstrate our worthiness to be the more broadly adopted and trusted cloud-based platform for the global industry. Mission-driven and engaged professional colleagues will continue to be essential to fulfilling that ambition.”

Glassdoor noted that employees at these highly rated companies commonly mention in online reviews that they enjoy working for mission-driven companies with strong and unique company cultures; employers that promote transparency; and companies with experienced senior leaders who regularly and clearly communicate with employees. For instance, according to one anonymous employee review of Guidewire on Glassdoor:

“Guidewire is a great company and especially ideal for the career-minded individual. The company is large enough to offer a variety of jobs in all kinds of interesting locations. Even if you never change roles, your job changes and evolves as the company grows, keeping things fresh. This is an exciting time to work in the P&C insurance industry as well. Our customers and our employees are some of the nicest.”

For the latest career opportunities and to learn more about life at Guidewire, visit careers.guidewire.com.

Full lists of the Battery/Glassdoor highest-rated 50 private cloud companies and 25 public cloud companies to work for can be found here.


Almost a third of UK SME owners don’t know whether or not UK should stay in the Single Market according to Bibby Financial Services report

  • 43% of UK SME’s say uncertain economic environment is holding back investment
  • Over a quarter of UK SME’s are struggling to hire skilled workers
  • Ambiguity could have a knock-on effect on Irish SME’s exporting to the UK

Almost a third of UK SME owners (30%) don’t know whether or not UK should stay in the Single Market, despite the UK Government’s pledge to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union, according to the latest SME Confidence Tracker from independent financial services provider, Bibby Financial Services (BFS).

The quarterly report also highlights that despite rising confidence overall, more than two-fifths of UK SME’s (43%) say they are holding back on investing in their businesses, due to the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit. This is in stark contrast to Irish SME owners who reported in the Bibby Global Business Monitor, published in October 2017, that 97% were expecting to invest in their businesses this year.

A leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to SME’s, Bibby Financial Services helps businesses to thrive and grow in domestic and international markets by providing bespoke financial assistance and a wide range of specialist and working capital funding options.

The number of UK SME’s expecting sales to increase between April and June jumped by 13 per cent, with half (50%) expecting to see an increase, when compared with expectations for the first three months of the year. The overall confidence index rose by six basis points from 58 in Q4 2017 to 64 in Q1 2018. It is the highest reading since Q2 2015 when The European Union Referendum Bill was first unveiled.

With near record-low levels of unemployment, over a quarter (27%) of UK SME’s are struggling to hire skilled workers, and 23% say they have had to increase wages to retain existing skills. With many firms reliant on overseas workers, there are concerns that the issue will be compounded when the UK leaves the EU next year.

Over the next three months, more than two fifths (41%) of UK SME’s are planning to invest in training and developing existing staff, while a quarter (24%) are planning to bring in new talent. Just under a third (30%) are planning to upgrade their digital technology.

Mark O’Rourke, Managing Director of Bibby Financial Services Ireland, says:

It is clear that even limited clarity over Brexit – and some compromise on behalf of both the UK and the EU following recent negotiations – has had somewhat of a calming effect on UK SME’s. This has resulted in an increase in confidence, which is long overdue following two years of tumbling confidence and subdued investment. 

However, our research shows there’s still ongoing confusion amongst UK SME owners as to what’s involved in staying in the Single Market and the Customs Union. Real stability won’t be achieved until the UK government and the European Union finalise their plans.  

No matter how big or small an Irish SME is, Brexit is going to affect their business. The Irish SME’s which will be successful in the long-term are those who are planning now for Brexit and thinking strategically about how they can protect profit margins, amid this insecurity.”

For more information about Bibby Financial Services Ireland, please visit:


Find us on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter @BibbyFinanceIE

2,101 complaints received by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland in 2017 and 75 advertisements found to be in breach of ASAI Code

2017 Annual Report shows significant majority (61%) of complaints were made

on the basis that an advertisement was perceived to be ‘misleading’

A total of 2,101 written complaints relating to 1,066 advertisements were received by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) last year, according to the organisation’s 2017 Annual Report which was released today. This represents a 58% increase in the number of complaints received in 2016. The number of complaints resolved at 1,802 represents a 31% increase on the previous year.

The ‘Health and Beauty’ sector attracted the most number of complaints, while ‘Digital Media’ gave rise to the highest number of complaints by media. The ASAI, which is the independent self-regulatory body committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications, found that 75 advertisements were in breach of the ASAI’s Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications.

The ASAI Annual Report outlines that 61% of the complaints made in 2017 were on the basis that an advertisement was misleading, while 12% were made on the basis that an advertisement was offensive. There were also a wide range of other issues covered by the ASAI Code that were raised by members of the public, including concerns about alcohol advertising, children, employment and business opportunities, financial services, food and non-alcoholic beverages, health and beauty claims.

The ASAI was established in 1981 and the objective of the ASAI Code is to ensure that all commercial marketing communications are ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’. Members of the ASAI are required to abide by the Code and not to publish an advertisement or conduct a promotion which contravenes Code rules. The ASAI Code covers commercial marketing communications and sales promotions in all media in Ireland including digital (online banners, websites and social platforms), print, outdoor, radio, TV, leaflets/brochures, and direct marketing.

The ASAI offers advertisers, agencies, media and promoters a copy advice service on whether a proposed marketing communication or sales promotion conforms to the Code. Copy advice is communicated confidentially, is non-binding and is given free of charge. In total, 135 requests from advertisers, advertising agencies and media for copy advice were received in 2017. The number of requests, although lower than those received in 2016, were significantly higher than those received in previous years. The ASAI copy advice service serves as an authoritative opinion, given by the Executive but does not bind the ASAI Complaints Committee.

Complaints by sector are as follows, with comparative figures for 2016 and 2015:


SECTOR                                                          2017                2016                 2015

Health & Beauty                                          365                     110                   80

Non-Commercial                                        205                      40                    94

Telecommunications                                189                     248                 240

Leisure                                                             131                     159                  150

Food & Beverages                                       115                     126                   72

Financial                                                        101                      67                    55

Household                                                      95                     125                  101

Motoring                                                         87                      99                    66

Travel/Holidays                                           79                      78                    77

Business                                                           36                      20                   24

Clothing / Footwear                                   33                      33                    14

Property                                                          30                      22                     9

Alcohol                                                            25                      27                    34

Computers                                                     19                      19                    12

TV / Audio / Video                                      17                      27                    15

Publishing                                                      16                      27                    14

Education                                                       12                      15                      9

Employment/Business Opportunitie  10                      10                    13

Agriculture                                                      8                        1                       5

Miscellaneous                                           229                     123                   98

                                                                      1,802                1,376           1,182


In 2017, digital media gave rise to the largest block of complaints, with 777 complaints registered. This represents a significant increase on the same figure for the previous year (586). Digital media has been increasing steadily year on year. In 2010, it represented 22% of all complaints, compared to 43% in 2017. Complaints relating to broadcast media (TV and radio combined) totalled 567, while outdoor media attracted 138 complaints.


Complaints by Media are as follows, with comparative figures for 2016 and 2015:


Complaints by Media

MEDIA   2017 2016 2015
Digital Media   777 586 449
Broadcast   567 354 356
Outdoor   138 118 169
Print   94 71 87
Brochures / Leaflets   72 74 45
Cinema   18 14 5
Direct Marketing   14 10 8
Other   122 57 78
       1802         1,284         1,197








Radio 147 127 118
Television 420 227 238


The ASAI conducts ongoing monitoring of advertising across all media and since 2007, has examined nearly 30,000 advertisements, with an overall compliance rate of 98 per cent. The organisation, which is financed by the advertising industry, also offers free confidential and non-binding copy advice on the compliance of proposed advertising.

Orla Twomey, CEO of the ASAI, speaking at the launch of the 2017 ASAI Annual Report, said:

“The ASAI is committed to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications in Ireland and our 2017 Annual Report echoes this statement, conveying the sheer breadth of advertisements adjudicated on by the ASAI’s independent Complaints Committee.

Partly in tandem with awareness campaigns of our range of services, the ASAI experienced a 58% surge in complaints since last year, a trend we expect to continue going forward. Despite a large increase in the number of complaints, we’re delighted to see that compliance with the adjudications of the independent Complaints Committee has remained consistent demonstrating that advertisers in Ireland are completely on board with the ASAI in our bid to protect consumers and ensure the highest standards of advertising and marketing communications.

 The ASAI’s Copy Advice Service also remains an important part of our remit and we would encourage any advertiser who has a concern in relation to their proposed marketing communications in 2018 and beyond, to get in touch and avail of the confidential and free service. 135 copy advice requsts were submitted to the ASAI in 2017 as we continue to work with advertisers, in the interest of consumers, to ensure that all marketing practices in Ireland are legal, decent, honest and truthful. I believe that the ASAI Annual Report for 2017 underpins that commitment.”

 Sean O’Meara, Chairman of the ASAI, says:

“Once again, I am honoured to present the Annual Report  for 2017, which was another outstanding year for the ASAI. During 2017, the ASAI continued reaching out to practitioners in the advertising industry to build awareness of the ASAI and our Code. Furthermore, the Authority continued its endeavours to ensure that those involved in the creation and production of advertising see and recognise the ASAI as a trusted advisor in the creation of Code-compliant advertising, rather than solely as complaints resolution organisation.

 It is evident that there is an increased awareness of the ASAI and its role amongst the general public and media. In addition to these outreach activities, the ASAI contributed in the process of the development of voluntary codes of practice for food marketing and advertising and in a review of telecommunications advertising with government Departments, industry and interested parties.

 This Annual Report demonstrates the extensive remit of the ASAI Code, particularly in relation to digital and online media. There is, I’m sure, no need for me to remind anyone of the continuing pace and breadth of the development of new digital communications platforms. We possess, and sometimes live by, hand-held devices that we regard as highly personal, even intimate. Addiction to Internet services and apps. What impresses me most about the ASAI is that our Board, our Executive and the various sub- committees have their fingers on today’s pulse. As our CEO, Orla Twomey, said during a radio interview, the ASAI follows the advertising and goes where it leads.”


The ASAI accepts complaints from any person or body who considers that a marketing communication may be in breach of the ASAI Code


Check out www.asai for more details and to also access a

copy of the 2017 ASAI Annual Report


To keep up to date on ASAI activity, follow the organisation on Twitter @THE_ASAI

Core announces Chloe Barton and Ciara Brennan from AIB as winners of the Cannes Young Lions ‘Core Young Marketers’ prize

  • Chloe and Ciara will form part of the IAPI team travelling to Cannes Young Lions 2018
  • Core celebrate further success as Alice Sheehan and Jamie Fulham win the 2018 ‘Media’ category

Chloe Barton and Ciara Brennan from AIB have been named as the winners of the ‘Young Marketers’ category of IAPI’s Cannes Young Lions Competition 2018 which is sponsored by Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications group.

Chloe and Ciara, 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. Upon arriving in Cannes, they will have just 24 hours to answer a brief set by a non-profit organisation.

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.

The ‘Young Marketers’ competition is an opportunity for the brightest professional minds working in the industry to demonstrate their strategic thinking and creative approach to solving important marketing challenges. Core recognises that creativity is not simply reserved for agencies – it’s at the heart of clients’ businesses too.

TO WIN AN OPPORTUNITY TO TRAVEL TO CANNES, Entrants, who had to be aged 30 years or under, were asked to develop a ‘big idea’ for www.checktheregister.ie, the website which allows people to check their eligibility to vote in elections and referenda.

A host of entries were submitted to the competition from a range of client companies in Ireland and the judging panel consisted of:

  • Shane Doyle, Group Strategic Director, Core
  • Rory Hamilton, Executive Creative Director, Boys and Girls
  • Emer Howard, Creative Director, Ringers
  • Enda Falvey, Franchise Section, Dept of Housing, Planning and Local Government
  • Dave Bass, Strategic Marketing Director, Kerry Foods

Core has had further success in the Cannes Young Lions Competition as two of their own – Alice Sheehan from Zenith and Jamie Fullam from Core – have been announced as winners of the Media category. Their submission was based on creating a media strategy for Epilepsy Ireland, where they were tasked with creating a campaign to de-stigmatise the condition and create awareness and talkability around the illness.

Alice and Jamie will join Chloe and Ciara, forming part of the Irish IAPI contingent in Cannes. A team of twelve Young Lions in total will travel to Cannes with IAPI, representing the best young creative talent in Ireland in the areas of marketing, media, social media, PR, print and film. 

Shane Doyle, Group Strategic Director, Core, says:

The ‘Young Marketers’ prize recognises that creativity is no longer simply reserved for agencies – it’s at the heart of clients’ businesses too. International research proves that creatively-awarded campaigns are six times more efficient than non-awarded campaigns in growing market share. This process begins and ends with the client and Core believes that great work really does start with brave and imaginative clients.  

The even better news is that standard of entry for the ‘Young Marketers’ competition this year was extremely high, illustrating the wealth of creative potential of Ireland’s young marketers. Core is absolutely delighted to be in a position to support the next generation of marketers to unleash their creative thinking.”

Mark Doyle, Head of Brand Engagement at AIB, says:

“Everyone here in AIB is really delighted for Chloe and Ciara and the award is a huge testament to the hard work they’ve put in.  It’s absolutely fantastic news for the AIB Group Marketing team and highlights the journey we’ve been on over the last number of years and the talent that we’ve built up on the team.  I’m sure they will do us proud in Cannes and best of luck to everyone on Team Ireland”. 

Chloe Barton and Ciara Brennan, winners of the Young Marketers competition, say:

“We are delighted to be Young Lions this year and representing AIB at the Cannes Lions event. Working on a brief which encompassed collaboration between AIB and checktheregister.ie encouraged us to think both strategically and creatively. We can’t wait to travel to Cannes to see as much of the Festival of Creativity as we can and we’re looking forward to representing Ireland against international competitors!”

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


@Core_IRL #CannesLions