An Post signs headline sponsorship agreement in an exciting new chapter for the Irish Book Awards

Submissions now open for ‘The An Post Irish Book Awards 2018’

New Irish language category added for 2018 event

An Post has signed a three year headline sponsorship agreement with the Irish Book Awards, heralding a new chapter in the history of one of Ireland’s most distinguished and popular literary events.

Now in its 13th year, the Irish Book Awards brings together the entire literary community – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians. The Awards consist of a range of categories including Novel of the Year, Children’s, Cookery, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry and Teen and Young Adult. This year, a new Irish Language category is being added to the roster of awards. It will be entitled ‘The Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year’.

Hundreds of books are submitted for consideration annually and, over the past 13 years, an array of new and established domestic and international authors have graced the Irish Book Awards stage including Anne Enright, Bernard MacLaverty, John Boyne, Marian Keyes, Mike McCormack, Donal Ryan, Cecelia Ahern, Sinead Moriarty, Belinda McKeon, Graham Norton, Michael Harding, Judi Curtin, Sebastian Barry, Rory O’Connell, Darina Allen and Paul Howard.

With this new partnership, An Post will support authors, publishers, booksellers, local bookshops, authors, postal and post office staff in bringing the gift and joy of reading and sharing books to people of all ages and interests.  

David McRedmond, CEO at An Post, says: “At the heart of An Post is the written word, and we are honoured to be able to sponsor the Irish Book Awards. Books connect people as An Post connects people, and we share is a love for connection and community. ‘Readers Wanted’ is the cry of the Awards this year and we will support this across our business with enthusiasm and creativity.” 

Maria Dickenson, Chairperson of the Irish Book Awards, says: “This new partnership with An Post is a wonderful fit. We are delighted to team up with a nationally recognised brand that will help us to spread the word about reading and put more books in the hands of readers. It is also a fantastic opportunity to help us highlight even more the wealth of wonderful writing talent in Ireland. The Irish Book Awards have become a landmark event in the Irish bookselling calendar, supported by the entire industry and, with An Post on board as the headline sponsor, we will bring the event to an exciting new level, celebrating the vibrancy of the Irish book business.”

The winners of the Irish Book Awards are announced at an annual awards ceremony in Dublin every November – an event which has become one of the premier events in the Irish literary calendar. Presidents, Taoisigh, Nobel Laureates, and most of the best writers in Ireland have attended this unique celebration of Irish literature. The event is also broadcast to the nation on RTÉ television.

In addition to category winners, two very special awards are also announced at the event. The Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award recognises the contribution of distinguished Irish writers and poets, and winners have included Seamus Heaney, Edna O Brien, John Montague, John McGahern, John Banville, Eavan Boland and Maeve Binchy, JP Donleavy, Paul Durcan, Jennifer Johnson and William Trevor.

The International Recognition Award is a special award made to international authors who have contributed substantially to the health and wealth of the Irish book-trade. Previous winners include David Walliams, Jilly Cooper, Bill Bryson and Jeffrey Archer. 

Submissions for The An Post Irish Book Awards 2018 are now being accepted via and every publisher in Ireland is invited to nominate books for the publicly voted categories. The closing date for applications is Friday, September 7th.



Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland release latest Complaints Bulletin

13 advertisements found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading Advertising, Brand Ambassadors, Comparison and Principles


The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee has released its latest Complaints Bulletin which contains 16 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the ASAI.

13 of the 16 advertisements were found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading Advertising, Brand Ambassadors, Comparison and Principles. The advertisements complained of related to Television, Social Media, Internet, and Press advertising. The ASAI Complaints Committee chose not to uphold one intra industry / interested party complaint.

The Complaints Committee is a completely independent arm of the ASAI and is responsible for considering and dealing with complaints submitted by the public, by a member of the ASAI, by a Government Department or any other person or body of persons. The Committee is made up of a range of experts from the advertising, media, education, consumer and marketing sectors. See further details here –

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. This is the first time a complaint about an influencer / blogger has been upheld by the Complaints Committee. Over the past few years, we have spent considerable time highlighting awareness in relation to advertising best practice within this space to ensure all relevant parties are equipped with the knowledge and resources to correctly identify commercial marketing content across their platforms. 

Last year, we also introduced guidance on the ‘Recognisability of Marketing Communications’ aimed at ensuring Irish consumers are not misled by influencer marketing through online advertisements on blogs and social media websites.  

The ASAI is committed to protecting consumers in relation to advertising – across all mediums – and our approach is to work with all advertisers, rather than against them, to ultimately ensure that all marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent and honest. 

The ASAI also provide a free and confidential copy advice service to advertisers, agencies and media members to help them create responsible ads. If an advertiser 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.”

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


Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details

Kia Motors Ireland

Dangerous Behaviour The complainant considered the advertisement to be extremely disturbing and dangerous. The ad depicted a fully clothed man jumping off the cliff to which the complainant argued the ad suggested suicide. Kia argued that the hero in the drama had a wish list of things he wished to achieve and chose to do this by way of a road trip through Europe.

In breach of section 3.24(a) of the code.

Complaint Upheld


Poundland Limited (Dealz Ireland) Decency and Propriety The complaint considered the imagery used to be sexualising children’s toys. Dealz argued that they do not like to take themselves too seriously and look to bring moments of fun and laughter to their customers when they can. Dealz said their campaign was intended for adult consumption on the basis that it would not be understood by children.

In breach of section 3.3 of the code.

Complaint Upheld


Positive Life Misleading The complainant considered that an event advertised on Facebook was pseudoscience, promising to disclose the secret to replacing food with breathing exercise. Also, he considered that it was targeting vulnerable groups, such as those with eating disorders. Positive Life stated that the event was an evening to hear a person’s life experience and they were not encouraging anyone to take the practice on.

In breach of section 3.3, 3.24(a), 4.1, 4.4 and 11.1 of the code.

Complaint Upheld


Coty (Rimmel IRL) and Rosie Connolly Misleading The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading. Rosie Connolly’s face had been filtered and photoshopped to an extent to which the complainant argued that people may purchase the Rimmel Foundation she was advertising and think they would achieve the same results. Ms. Connolly said that Rimmel had approved the images which she had forwarded to them, therefore, the complaint should be addressed to them. Rimmel IRL said the post was not intended to mislead and they had removed it because it did not represent their values as a brand.

In breach of section 4.1, 4.4 and 4.9 of the code.

Complaint Upheld


Vue Cinemas Misleading The complainant had viewed the offer and purchased the tickets for a Monday screening but was charged more than the advertised rate of €4.99. As the point of sale was “Every Ticket, Every Monday” for the said price, the complainant considered that it was misleading. Vue Cinemas did not believe their advertising was in breach of the code.

In breach of section 4.1 and 4.4 of the code.

Complaint Upheld


Eir Misleading The complainant reviewed the Eir TV coverage map for the Dublin area and noted that his home was within the area identified as having Eir TV services available. When he contacted Eir they informed the complainant that the service was not currently available in their area, He therefore considered the coverage map to be misleading. Eir acknowledged and apologised that their coverage map had not been updated regularly enough over the past couple of months.

In breach of section 4.1 and 4.9 of the code.

Complaint Upheld


Prasada Centre Misleading Three complaints were issued to the ASAI about this advertisement. Complaint one challenged the claim that the centre had been ‘gifted’ to the people of Nenagh. Prasada Centre said the term was a play on words. Complaint two challenged the claim that “Homeopathy is a natural and safe alternative to conventional medicine and is suitable for both adults and young children. Remedies used are from natural substances”. Complaint three challenged the claim that “A psychic is someone with extra sensory perception (ESP for short). He or she is able to ‘read’ or sense things most of us are unable to pick up on”. Prasada Centre used the Cambridge Dictionary to define the word ‘psychic’.

In breach of sections 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, and 4.10 of the code.

Complaint one: Not Upheld

Complaint two: Upheld

Complaint three: Not Upheld


Musgrave – Centra Misleading The complainant argued that the chicken breast packet on the advertisement leaflet had five pieces in it for half price. However, when they got to the shop, a staff member informed them that it was three chicken breast pieces that were half price and the advertisement is wrong. Centra explained they had made an error when signing off the artwork for the product. It should have featured three chicken breasts rather than five.

In breach of sections 4.1 and 4.9 of the code.

Complaint Upheld


Conns Cameras Misleading The complainant considered a special offer to be misleading. The advertiser stated the promotion in question was one of a number of “instant discount” offers that ran across different brands in 2017.

In breach of section 5.5 of the code.

Complaint Upheld



Nestle (Ireland) LTD Misleading The complainant considered a tweet by the advertiser to be misleading. Nestle deleted the tweet after someone complained via twitter.

In breach of sections 4.1, 5.5 and 5.1(e) of the code.

Complaint Upheld


Boylesports Gambling The complainant said that he was concerned the advertisement was affording those who saw the advertisement the opportunity to place a bet on the actions of a child. The advertisers said that having reviewed the complaint they carried out a number of actions. Following an extensive internal review of their promotions and images, they felt they had comprehensive controls in place around their promotions and advertising to ensure the ASAI’s standards were adhered to. They removed the social media post in question.

In breach of sections 3.3, 10.16, 10.17(a) (b) and (g) of the code.

Complaint Upheld




The ASAI upheld complaints made by Intra Industry / Interested Parties in the following cases:


Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
Paddy Power Portrayal of Persons and Property The Gaelic Players Association

said that none of the individuals had given their permission for their image to be used for this specific advertisement, nor had they given a general consent to Paddy Power for their images to be used in any way. They also said that they have campaigned strongly and determinedly for quite some time on the topic of gambling and young men. The advertisers noted that the Executive had requested comments on the complaint against the following Code provisions, Sections 2.4(c), 3.26, 3.27 and 3.29, however, they considered that Sections 3.28(a) and (b) and also 10.17 were also relevant.

In breach of section 3.27 of the code.

Complaint Upheld


Johnson & Johnson Misleading/Comparison Two complaints were received regarding the video, one from a consumer complainant while the other was received from Irish Breeze. Both explained how the advertisement was misleading and how they were discrediting WaterWipes.

In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4 and 4.34 of the code.

Complaint was upheld in part.




The following complaints were investigated and, following investigation, the ASAI Complaints Committee did not uphold the complaints.


Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
Vodafone Decency and Propriety 15 complaints were received in relation to the advertisement. One complaint said;

the advertisement lacks information on the whereabouts of the boy’s biological dad and why it is necessary for him to call his mum’s new partner ‘Dad’. The advertisers argued the advertisement in question formed part of a wider family focused marketing campaign entitled ‘Family Firsts’ and was a celebration of the importance of connectivity between family members, no matter what the specific family structure may be.

Complaint Not Upheld


Nissan Misleading Six complaints were received regarding this advertising campaign. Some said the headline offer

“get 2 new cars for the price of 1” was misleading as it implied that purchasers would have two cars when the offer involved the exchange of the car purchased in 2018 with a new model in 2019.

Complaint Not Upheld



The following complaints were investigated and following investigation, the ASAI Complaints Committee did not uphold the complaints. The complaints were made by Intra Industry / Interested Parties:


Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
Eir Misleading Three Ireland LTD objected to the advertisements for two reasons including misleading information about customers entering into a contract with Eir and Eir claiming to be “Ireland’s largest communications company”. Eir strongly disagreed with Three’s claims.

Complaint Not Upheld


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.

Media members are reminded that advertisements found to be in breach of the Code cannot be accepted for publication.


Or follow the ASAI on Twitter @THE_ASAI

Heart Children Ireland wins charity competition to feature on first ever bespoke Dublin MONOPOLY edition

Dublin MONOPOLY edition will be unveiled in October featuring landmarks

such as the Ha’Penny Bridge, Temple Bar and the Phoenix Park


You can’t put a price on this charity.

A Dublin based charity has announced as the very first space to be revealed as ‘Passing GO’ on the brand new MONOPOLY board for the city.

It will get to star on a Community Chest space all of its own – and because there is no price tag on Community Chest spaces then you can’t put a price on it.

The charity is Heart Children Ireland and here they are in all their new found MONOPOLY glory! Heart Children Ireland – whose mission is to enable all children with congenital heart disease live the best possible lives – was founded in 1990 and is based in North Brunswick Street, Dublin.

The new game, which will hit shop shelves this October in time for Christmas, is the first ever all Dublin bespoke MONOPOLY board.

Its appearance on the new Dublin MONOPOLY Edition game follows a public poll held last month, which attracted more than 1,500 votes. Heart Children Ireland TOPPED this poll, it is announced today. The two other winning charities will be announced later in the year.

The edition is being produced by Winning Moves UK, under official license from MONOPOLY owners Hasbro.

A delighted Margaret Rogers – CEO of Heart Children Ireland – said today:

“A huge thank you to everyone who voted for us and to Winning Moves UK for this wonderful opportunity. It’s certainly great that we are on a ‘priceless’ space – we feel honoured with all the support we get. Play is so important in the lives of all children and MONOPOLY has played a huge part, for many decades, in creating so many great memories for families.”

“Being a part of this official new MONOPOLY Dublin Edition is a legacy in itself for Heart Children Ireland.”

Heart Children Ireland offers support in many ways to parents and families’ of children with congenital heart disease (CHD). One of its most sought after services is its family psychology support service.

“Knowing you have a support network is vital to families on their CHD journey with their child,” adds Ms Rogers.

The makers of the new official game today extended their congratulations.

“A very big congratulations to Heart Children Ireland who ran a great campaign – and many thanks to everyone who voted,” said Robert Osborne, Custom Games Manager at Winning Moves UK, makers of the board under official license from Hasbro. “The charity will feature on a Community Chest space – we feel this is an appropriate position on the board, with Heart Children Ireland being such an integral and very big part of the Dublin community.”

Dublin landmarks and favourites like the Ha’Penny Bridge, Temple Bar, Phoenix Park and the Molly Malone Statue are set to appear on the property spaces made famous in the original London game. “The board will feature and star the great and the good of Dublin – and be a love letter to Ireland’s most visited city,” added Mr Osborne.

Meanwhile, one person is being given the unique opportunity to be a VIP at the official launch of Dublin official MONOPOLY board in October.

The winner who sends in the best ‘Why I Love Dublin’ entry will get to be this VIP – that’s Very Important Player – as well as Person !

Winning Moves UK are the makers of this new unique edition under official license from MONOPOLY owners Hasbro.

The winner will get to be at the high profile launch of the board at  and get the first game to roll off the presses.

The VIP launch is taking place in four months’ time in October– the same day that the game hits shop shelves, well in time for Christmas.

The winner will also get to meet perhaps the biggest VIP of them all .. Mr MONOPOLY (in costume). He is coming to Dublin especially for the launch.

The mechanic for winning is sending in an entry on: ‘Why I Love Dublin’.

Entries can be poems, ditties, one-liner, essays. Schoolteachers could even set this as a lesson or homework. “The most inventive and creative entry will win and we are totally open minded as to the form entries should take,” says Winning Moves UK Custom Games Manager Robert Osborne. “They could be visual or words in the form of a poem or similar.”

** To be in with a chance of being the VIP for the day just email on ‘Why I Love Dublin’. Lines for entries open today and close at 23.59pm on 31st August 2018. 


JFK Unsilenced wins Grand Prix along with Gold, Silver and Bronze at Cannes

Powerful speech due to be given on the day of his assassination recreated by

The Times, Ireland Edition


The campaign generated one billion media impressions globally

 JFK Unsilenced, the unique historical project spearheaded by The Times, Ireland Edition, has won a Grand Prix, along with Gold, Silver and Bronze awards at Cannes Festival of Creativity 2018. The awards, known as Cannes Lions, are recognised globally as the ultimate achievement in creativity – this is the first time an Irish entry has won a Grand Prix at the prestigious annual Cannes event.

JFK Unsilenced was commissioned as part of the redesign of The Times, Ireland Edition earlier this year, underpinning the title’s core objective of providing readers with quality Irish content, debate and analysis but also highlighting The Times, Ireland Edition’s role as a leading innovator in the digital space.

A cohesive marketing strategy drove awareness of this fascinating historical project and included Out-Of-Home advertisements, a radio campaign, press ads, digital display, social media and video, encouraging consumers to log into to hear this very special speech.

It’s estimated that the campaign generated more than one billion media impressions globally.

The groundbreaking JFK Unsilenced uses cutting edge voice recognition software to recreate the speech that President John F. Kennedy was due to deliver at the Dallas Trade Mart on the day of his assassination.

The project, which involved isolating sound fragments from previous speeches President Kennedy gave, was undertaken in co-operation with Irish creative agency Rothco and CereProc, a speech synthesis company based in Scotland.

Subscribers to the digital edition of The Times, Ireland Edition can view the full 20 minute speech, a three minute highlights package and a video on how the speech was produced. An accompanying series of articles analyse the speech and the long lasting effect Kennedy had on world politics.

Richard Oakley, Editor of The Times, Ireland Edition, says:

JFK Unsilenced was a unique collaboration as it combined both creative and editorial endeavour.

The project was covered by other media outlets around the world, meaning The Times, Ireland Edition was making the news as well as breaking it. Working with Rothco was a rewarding experience and I am delighted their creative talent has been recognised in such spectacular fashion.”  

Catherine Newman, Chief Marketing Officer of Times Newspapers Limited, says:

“We’re delighted that the collaboration between The Times, Ireland Edition, Rothco and CereProc has been recognised on an international stage. Cannes Lions are the most established and coveted awards in the creative and marketing communications industry and the sheer number of prizes won by the JFK Unsilenced project is a testament to all parties involved.

Since its launch, The Times, Ireland Edition has provided a new voice in market, challenging its audience to look at stories from new, fresh perspectives – JFK Unsilenced, which takes a historical piece and brings it firmly into the 21st century, is a prime example of this.”

Patrick Hickey, CEO of Rothco, says:

“Winning a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions puts you among the world’s elite, and I believe our best work is still ahead of us. I’d like to thank our team and our partners at The Times, Ireland Edition and News UK & Ireland for their contributions to making history and bringing the voice of one of the world’s most beloved orators to a new generation.”

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

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 Times, Ireland Edition and The Sunday Times

Know your times or follow us on @thetimesIE

Core invests €7.5m in restructure of Ireland’s largest marketing communications company and puts collaboration at the heart of future business plans

Core moves to custom-built 24,000 sq. ft. creative space at 1 Windmill Lane – the address

made famous by masters of musical collaboration such as U2, The Rolling Stones and many more


Core, the marketing communications company previously known as Core Media, is investing €7.5m this year in a complete restructure of the business and a relocation to a 24,000 sq ft. custom-built creative space at 1 Windmill Lane (1WML).

The investment follows an extensive strategic review, which resulted in the development of a five-year plan to not only transform its proposition as a business, but also the industry in which it operates. The focus of the new strategy is collaboration, which will enhance the creativity of work developed by Core, across all disciplines, and provide a seamless structure that will meet the global trend of clients demanding full solution services.

This business plan will be officially launched to the industry at an event held in the town hall space in 1 Windmill Lane. Keynote speaker, music producer Steve Lillywhite, will return to the iconic Windmill Lane address to talk about his experiences with the likes of U2, Morrissey, The Pogues and Talking Heads, and how true collaboration can create magic.

Core employs a team of 310 people and, until recently, operated as a group of nine separate companies. Now, to facilitate enhanced collaboration, the business has been transformed into one company of nine practices*:

  • Core Creative
  • Core Data
  • Core Investment
  • Core Media – consisting of four teams branded Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith
  • Core Recruitment
  • Core Research
  • Core Sponsorship
  • Core Strategy
  • Core Learning

The transformation of the business is reflected in the company’s new vision statement:

 ‘By truly embracing collaboration, sharing ideas freely and empowering one another, we will create work that is more powerful and transformative than our individual efforts can ever be.’

 Alan Cox, CEO of Core, says the future of the advertising and marketing sector is about collaboration:

“For the last thirty years, the advertising industry has been obsessed with specialisation, necessitating clients to hire a number of different agencies to produce one marketing campaign. Working in silos stifles creativity and results, no matter how talented the individual teams are. Research has consistently shown that collaboration produces better results. Bringing people together from different disciplines to work on a problem produces a higher level of creativity and innovation.

“Core is not moving away from specialisation – far from it. Collaboration is a powerful and essential element of world-class marketing campaigns. Marketing is a complex business and deep specialism is crucial. By demolishing our walls, both figuratively and physically, to become one company. We are advocating that specialists must be brought together and not kept apart. Core’s purpose is to expand the possibilities of what brands can achieve. We are really excited about our new strategy and new, integrated model, and where it will take our business.”

To facilitate the new collaboration vision for Core, the company has moved to 1 Windmill Lane – the address made famous by U2, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, New Order and many other recording artists. The new premises was chosen because it complemented Core’s desire to create a highly collaborative space where all parts of the company could easily work together in one environment.

Consisting of 24,000 sq. ft across one floor, the location has been custom built to foster innovation and collaboration, and includes a special CoLab space, where teams come together to ideate and solve problems for clients. As part of the restructure, the company also invested in specialists to train employees in how to collaborate more effectively, establishing new ways of working together.

Joining Core’s existing premises on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, the 1WML address widens Core’s property footprint in Dublin’s SOBO District (South Of Beckett O’Casey) – at the point where the Docklands connects with the city centre and IFSC. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb and a host of other multinationals and creative SMEs have flocked to the area, creating an incredibly pioneering creative business community.

Geoff McGrath, Director of Transformation with Core, says: “Everything in our new space offers a tangible statement of our intent to create a better way to create better work. Clients need better built solutions with a more simplified, seamless agency structure. Our unique scale, organisational structure and now our new working environment ensures that Core is the only brand capable of providing clients with such a proposition in the Irish market.”

Whilst the modern space at 1WML has been designed around a new approach to collaboration, it hasn’t forgotten its unique heritage. All of the meeting rooms will be named after the famous albums that were recorded at the address in the studio’s heyday, while a section of the famous wall of graffiti taken from the original Windmill Lane site stands proudly in the reception area.

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 ninth year running.


For further details, please check out



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:

Spark Foundry appoints Helen O’Rourke as Deputy Managing Director

Spark Foundry, the media communications agency, has appointed Helen O’Rourke as Deputy Managing Director.

Helen joined Spark Foundry, previously known as Mediavest, 12 years ago and was appointed to the board of the company in 2014. During this time, Helen has worked with some of Spark Foundry’s largest clients and has contributed to many new business wins. As Deputy Managing Director, Helen will work closely with the management team to drive the strategic direction of the agency, while also continuing to lead a portfolio of clients.

Helen is the IAPI representative on both the Research and the Technical Committees of the JLNR and she also teaches a number of courses in Core Learning, the practice within Core which provides training for media, marketing and advertising professionals.

Spark Foundry has been operating in the Irish market since 1999 and is part of Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company. Spark Foundry provides a range of services including media and investment, analytics, technology, insights and content. Since 2013, the company has been the No. 1 qualitatively ranked media agency in Ireland, according to independent assessment agency RECMA. The agency works with a range of indigenous and international clients including Aviva, BWG, ESB Group, Mars Ireland Ltd, P&G, Three, Road Safety Authority and Ulster Bank. The company recently won the Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard account.

Sandra Alvarez, Managing Director of Spark Foundry, says: “Helen is undoubtedly one of the most talented practitioners in our market. Her commitment to making our industry better is remarkable and she constantly raises the bar for the standard of the work we do. Helen is an integral part of the Spark Foundry team and I’m really looking forward to working alongside her to bring the agency to even higher levels.” 

Core, formerly known as Core Media, is made up of nine distinct practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Recruitment, Research, Sponsorship and Strategy.


For further details, please check out


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:          


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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

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,, 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: