Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland releases latest Complaints Bulletin

  • 5 advertisements found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading/Recognisability, Substantiation, Promotional Marketing Practices and Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Infant and Follow-on Formula

30th September 2020 – The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee has released its latest Complaints Bulletin, which contains 6 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the organisation.

5 of the advertisements were found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds related to Misleading/Recognisability, Substantiation, Promotional Marketing Practices and Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Infant and Follow-on Formula. The advertisements complained of related to the Internet – and in particular, social media.

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

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 online platforms, in particular social media, and demonstrates how we ensure that ads in Ireland stick to the advertising rules. The main role of advertising self-regulatory organisations (SROs), such as the ASAI, is to ensure that ads and other marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent and honest, prepared with a sense of social responsibility to the consumer and society and with proper respect for the principles of fair competition.”

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

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

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

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

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

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
  EJ Menswear     Misleading / Recognisability     The complainant considered that the posts were the result of a collaboration between the brand and the influencer and that they had not been disclosed as such in the story. They therefore considered there was insufficient transparency in the marketing communications.   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 3.31 and 3.32 of the Code.   Complaint Upheld. Link:  
    JD Sports      Misleading / Recognisability     The complainant considered that the posts indicated a commercial relationship between the influencer and the brand which was not disclosed so therefore felt the posts were misleading.   In breach of section 4.1, 4.4, 3.31 and 3.32 of the Code.   Complaint Upheld.   Link:  
  ASOS   Misleading / Substantiation   The complainant considered the posts to be misleading as they implied specific ASOS products had been used to create the looks featured. However, the original posts showed that the actual products used were not those tagged by the brand. The complainant therefore believed that customers may purchase products from ASOS expecting similar results to those featured in the posts.     In breach of sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Complaint Upheld.   Link:  
  Healthwise Pharmacy Group   Misleading/Promotional Marketing Practices   Issue 1: The complainant said that the competition did not appear to have any terms and conditions attached to it other than the requirement to like, share and tag on every post between the relevant dates. He said that, furthermore, there had been no mention of a closing date for entry to the competition   Issue 2: The complainant said that all the social media platforms where the competition featured had not been mentioned.   Issue 3: The complainant queried whether the winners to the competition had met all the requirements of entry, that all posts had to be liked, shared and tagged. A random selection of posts by him had revealed that only three winners should have been eligible for their prize via Facebook. In addition to this he considered that there was only one eligible entrant on Instagram   Issue 4: The complainant also queried whether there had been an independent observer present when the draw was conducted   In breach of section 5.30(a) and 4.1, 4.4, and 4.5 of the Code.   Complaint Upheld in part.   Link:  
  Boots Retail Ireland Limited   Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages / Infant and Follow-on Formula   Two complaints were received concerning the post. Both complainants objected to the advertising for Stage One Infant Formula as they considered it to be against regulations to do so.   In breach of section 8.31 of the Code.   Complaint Upheld. Link:  

The ASAI did not uphold one complaint made by Intra Industry / Interested Parties in the following case:

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
  Eir   Misleading /Substantiation /Promotions   Two complaints were received regarding the advertising. Vodafone referred to advertising being run by eir and “GoMo”, which they said were trading names of eircom Limited.   Issue 1: GoMo Offer They considered the ‘for life’ offer to be an absolute claim and not qualified in any respect. They said the claim said that the offer was available ‘for life’, which, to the average consumer, suggested that the service itself would always be available at a price point of €9.99 for the duration of either the consumer’s lifetime, or the brand’s lifetime.   Issue 2: eir offer They considered the offer advertised as available ‘for life’ and ‘forever’ to be an absolute claim made by eir. They considered the advertising to consumers claimed the offer was available ‘for life’, which to the average consumer, suggested that the service itself would always be available at the agreed price point for the duration of either the consumer’s lifetime, or the brand’s lifetime.   Complaint Not Upheld. Link:  

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

For further information, please contact:

Breda Brown / Clodagh Foley

Unique Media

Tel: 01 5225200 / 085 865 8019 (CF)

Editorial Notes:

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland is financed by the advertising industry and committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications that is advertising, promotional marketing and direct marketing. The objective is to ensure that all commercial marketing communications are ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’.

Media are required to abide by the Code and not to publish an advertisement or conduct a promotion which contravenes Code rules. The 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.

Further information on advertising self-regulation, the ASAI and the operation

of the system is available at


Almost 80% of English language students want to remain learning online due to Covid-19 – Progressive College Network

  • Only 21% of students seeking an urgent return to classrooms as importance of blended learning is emphasised
  • While Government pushes for language schools to return to classrooms without delay, Progressive College Network looks to prioritise blended learning to ensure health and safety of students and teachers

Almost four in five (78.5%) English language students would prefer to remain learning online, rather than return to classrooms. This is according to research from Progressive College Network, the representative body for a number of English language schools across Ireland, which has stressed that the safety of students and staff must be the primary concern as the sector seeks ways to continue teaching.

The research further found that 95% of English language instructors would similarly like to continue teaching using online methods. Over half (53.6%) believe they will struggle to understand their teacher if that person has to use a face mask, and 49% think social distancing in the classroom would have a negative effect on their learning.

Since 12 March, when schools and education providers were instructed to close at the outset of the pandemic, Progressive College Network and other English language schools have made the move online independent of any Government guidance. Despite the challenges of online learning, 78% of students say they have continued to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills while studying online.

The survey also highlighted the everyday concerns of English language students living in Ireland, with 36% nervous of using public transport to get to their school and 48% worried due to living with someone at higher risk from Covid-19.

While the Department of Further and Higher Education has stressed that all language schools should look to return to classroom learning without delay, Progressive College Network has emphasised the importance of blended learning to prioritise the safety of teachers and students while continuing to deliver high-quality education. 

David Russell, Chair of the Progressive College Network, said: “Society is having to learn how to live with the Covid-19 virus, and that goes for the English language sector too. While we all want to return to classrooms, the emphasis for English language schools must be on blended learning, where online teaching is supplemented by face-to-face teaching wherever possible. This approach will help guarantee the safety of our students and teachers, who are understandably nervous about getting back into classrooms at this time.

“Despite some of the negativity around online learning in recent months, the research shows that our teachers and students have adapted well to the challenges it presents. We’re continuing to improve our online learning experience as much as possible and it’s great to see that the reaction to date from students has been positive.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has seen blended learning accepted as a necessary compromise for students attending third-level universities – and it’s clear that the English language sector shouldn’t be treated any differently in this regard.”

The research was based on survey responses received earlier this month from 565 English language students and 66 teachers across Progressive College Network’s member colleges.

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

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

AirSpeed Telecom’s 100mbps connection enables new banking system for Ghaoth Dobhair Credit Union in Donegal

AirSpeed Telecom, a leading provider of high-performance telecommunications products and services to enterprise, public sector and small to medium sized businesses, has provided connectivity to Ghaoth Dobhair Credit Union, Donegal, delivering a new 100mbps service.

Financial co-operative Comhar Creidmheasa Ghaoth Dobhair Teo (Ghaoth Dobhair Credit Union) was established in 1972 and has played a significant part in the local community for almost 50 years.  It is owned by its members and operates a community centric approach offering a quality service to their members in Gweedore and Cloughaneely.

As a result of this new connection from AirSpeed Telecom, members of the Comhar Creidmheasa Ghaoth Dobhair will now be able to make payments to their shares and loans accounts by using their Debit Cards online. This new online feature is particularly helpful to members who prefer to do their banking from home, particularly during this period of Covid-19 challenges.

Annemarie Ni Ghallchoir, Assistant Manager Ghaoth Dobhair CreditUnion, says:

“We have recently changed to a new banking system that needed high speed connectivity in order to operate effectively. AirSpeed Telecom listened to what was required and provided us with an excellent service which has allowed us to smoothly transition from the old system to the new.’’

AirSpeed Telecom, Managing Director, Charles O’Reilly, says:

“We’re delighted to provide connectivity to Ghaoth Dobhair Credit Union. Our connectivity has allowed the Credit Union to seamlessly transition to their new banking system. Having a number of local Credit Unions as Airspeed customers, we appreciate they are often the lifeblood of the community, so it was critically important for us to be enable this banking project with our high performance connectivity.”

Delivering bespoke solutions over fibre, wireless and copper infrastructure, AirSpeed Telecom works with businesses on the island of Ireland across a range of sectors, including financial services, construction, food and beverage and hospitality. Among the clients that AirSpeed Telecom is proud to work with are Chill, Keelings, Manor Farm and Kilsaran.

Emer Lawn appointed Managing Director of Starcom

Emer Lawn has been appointed Managing Director of Starcom, part of Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company.

This appointment marks an important next phase in the company’s ambitious plans as it looks to continue the impressive growth experienced in recent years.

Emer joined Starcom in August of last year as Deputy Managing Director to work closely with the existing Board including Geoff McGrath (Managing Director), Anna Doyle and Aisling O’Sullivan. 

Despite the unforeseen impacts of 2020, the business has enjoyed much success since the start of the year. It retained Musgrave (SuperValu and Centra) and was appointed by Intersnack (Tayto, KP). It was also the most recognised agency on the shortlist of Ireland’s Media Awards 2020. And, just this month, Starcom received the Best Integrated Campaign in Europe accolade at the European Search Awards for its work with Home Secure.

Prior to joining Starcom, Emer was a director of Mediaworks, also part of Core. In her time there, Emer established and expanded the agency’s digital communication solutions. She also led the team that won the Grand Prix at the 2018 Media Awards. Before this, she was responsible for establishing Core’s social media offering, which went on to win Social Media Agency of the Year three years in a row.

In 2017, Emer was recognised as a finalist for the IAPI Doyenne, and she acts as a communications advisor to Quercus, a ‘women in business’ group for director-level women who excel in their fields.

Emer feels passionately about the power of ongoing learning and development and has been an active lecturer in specialised digital and communication skills to both internal colleagues and the industry through Core Learning (the organisation’s dedicated Learning Practice). She has previously served on the faculty of the Digital Marketing Institute as well as contributing to a range of other industry bodies, offering training more broadly to local development Boards and SMEs.

The role of Managing Director of Starcom has previously been held by Geoff McGrath, who joined the business in 2016. During this time, Geoff also led the creative transformation of Core’s overall business and, upon Emer’s appointment, he will now focus on this transformation agenda and growing Core’s full-solution portfolio of business, spanning the nine practices of the company. He passes the reins to Emer in the coming month, alongside her fellow Board Directors Aisling O’Sullivan and Anna Doyle.

Emer Lawn added: “This year has taught us the importance of the work we do in the communications industry and how critical it will be in the country’s recovery. I am fully committed to strengthening our team and our client partnerships, as alongside some of Ireland’s most iconic and loved businesses and brands, we work to offer the right support through the challenges we all face ahead. It is with huge excitement and pride that I take on this next chapter in Starcom’s evolution.”

Geoff McGrath added: “Emer’s vision of what the next chapter of Starcom looks like is very exciting. She brings with her a proven track record of helping to drive businesses forward. I am incredibly proud of Starcom and all that we have achieved and know that Emer is the perfect person to lead Starcom into the future.”

Core employs a team of 330 people and consists of nine practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Recruitment, Research, Sponsorship and Strategy. Core has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last six years at the Media Awards and the company was also recently voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the tenth year running.

To learn more about Core, please visit


Critical Healthcare invests over €500,000 in new 30,000 sq ft. headquarters in Offaly

  • New facility will allow specialist provider of medical and healthcare products to meet increased demand from global emergency medical services sector
  • Critical Healthcare ensures healthcare professionals across eight countries have medical products required to diagnose, resuscitate and rehabilitate a patient

Critical Healthcare, the multiple award winning, specialist provider of frontline medical and healthcare products to the global emergency services, has invested over €500,000 in a new 30,000 sq. ft headquarters facility in Tullamore, County Offaly. In addition to expanding its physical location, Critical Healthcare has also increased its workforce to over 30 employees.

Critical Healthcare, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, boasts a diversity of customers that covers emergency services, armed forces and local authorities across eight European countries, with expansion into more planned. An approved HSE and NHS supplier, Critical Healthcare works with emergency service providers across Ireland, UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France, Spain and Poland, ensuring that healthcare professionals have all of the essential medical products they require to diagnose, resuscitate and rehabilitate a patient. Critical Healthcare are also a key government supplier of the PPE and infection control items that have now become common-place in a ‘Covid-aware’ world.

This expansion is due to recent innovations in Critical Healthcare’s Medlogistix on-line procurement software that has won them glowing recommendations from prestigious industry figures such as the UK’s Lord Carter whose review described Medlogistix as “best practice” that “demonstrates tangible efficiencies and cost savings”. This pre-authorised system allows customers to order products 24/7 and can be accessed remotely, allowing for a seamless and standardised supply chain which is essential in a highly pressurised emergency services environment.

The Critical Healthcare product range includes essential medical products required to diagnose, resuscitate and rehabilitate patients – everything from an adhesive plaster to a defibrillator. The product range supplied by the company includes disposable linen, surgical masks, oxygen masks, temperature and blood pressure monitors, syringes and needles, Duramedic range-vacuum splints, sanitiser, gowns and a 3 in 1 blood glucometer that measures ketone.

Critical Healthcare is committed to working with healthcare professionals to design and develop new products and services to ensure a safer and risk-free environment for service providers and patients. The business has developed its own range of products, alongside the many products required by paramedics, ER physicians and emergency crews. They include:

  • MediLinen – A unique range of disposable linen products and solutions for ambulance and hospital use
  • MediQuilt – a reusable quilt for ambulance and hospital use that utilises antibacterial and biodegradable disposable/recyclable covers
  • MediFleece – a single use blanket which reduces the risk of both cross-contamination
  • Duramedic – a range of medical consumables

Dr. Anne Cusack, CEO of Critical Healthcare, says the new facility in Offaly, which consists of two warehouses and extensive office facilities, will provide considerable breathing space for the rapidly expanding business.

“The demand we are seeing for essential products has been and remains high. Critical Healthcare has been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 by supporting Emergency Services Providers across Europe so we fully understand the demands that these professionals face on a daily basis. Significantly, we have had sole responsibility for ensuring that the national ambulance services in both Ireland and Denmark have remained fully operational with essential supplies during these unprecedented times.”

“Our new premises will enable us to take the company through its next phase of growth as we continue to scale. We’re also delighted that our Medlogistix system is recommended by the UK’s ‘Lord Carter Review’ as Best Practice. This accolade, combined with our two decades of experience in this sector, will ensure that Critical Healthcare is well-positioned to continue providing the efficient managed service that is Medlogistix into new markets during a time when they are needed most.”

Or follow Critical Healthcare on Twitter @CriticalHealthc

Enet facilitates entry of Spanish virtual network operator Brodynt to Irish market

Enet and Brodynt will deliver Dedicated Internet Access services

Enet, Ireland’s largest open-access network operator, has collaborated with leading global internet access aggregator Brodynt, to deliver Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) services to one of their Ireland-based corporate customers.

The collaboration marks Brodynt’s entry to the Irish market, where they will provide DIA services to give customers faster, dedicated connection to the internet and eliminate network congestion.

Brodynt, which is headquartered in Barcelona and has an office in Austin, offers a range of telecom solutions to national and international ISPs, Carriers, System Integrators, Agencies & SDWAN players and works with 1000+ connectivity providers worldwide, finding the most adequate option and tailoring the offer in each case through its unique partner-neutral approach.

Natalia Domínguez, Marketing Director at Brodynt said: “Brodynt’s global DIA solutions meet the most demanding requirements with a high SLA and all of our services are business grade, fully managed and supported by our technical team.

“Enet’s DIA product allows us to provide our corporate customers in Ireland with a secure symmetrical internet access connection with a high SLA, which is critical for our customer requirements. Enet’s connectivity solutions allow us to offer more value to our customers while differentiating ourselves from the competition.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Cormac Ryan, Sales Director at Enet said: “Enet is delighted to add Brodynt to our growing list of wholesale customers in 2020, who are leveraging our telecommunications network infrastructure to deliver key services to their end customers in Ireland.

“We look forward to working with Brodynt to deliver high-performance connectivity solutions to more customers throughout Ireland.”

Enet is headquartered in Limerick and has recently unveiled a state-of-the-art Network Operations Centre as part of our new €1m headquarters facility in a new standalone 14,000 sq ft location in the National Technological Park, Plassey.

Brodynt offers global Internet Access services and networking hardware anywhere in the world, focusing on DIA and Broadband and performing as a connectivity One-Stop-Shop to make customer’s lives easier. It is the perfect Internet Access underlay component for SD-WAN requirements as well. Brodynt’s customer service is available 24x7x365 in all time zones and manages the post-sales process with the customer, making it truly simple through a unique point of contact and bill.  It has been recently ranked one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe by the Financial Times for the second year in a row.

The Sunday Times supports SME’s with two-part supplement featuring insights into how the sector is responding to the pandemic

  • SME supplement will feature business news, insights, trends, tips and advice on topics such as finance and liquidity, selling online and HR

The Sunday Times is supporting Irish SMEs through the pandemic by creating a special two-part broadsheet supplement featuring insights into how small and medium sized businesses are responding to the pandemic, along with a range of tips and advice. The first supplement will appear this Sunday, September 20th followed by the second edition on Sunday 4th October.

Working in conjunction with Ireland Together, a non-profit group of professionals and entrepreneurs, the Sunday Times SME supplement will include business news and a range of Irish focused insights and trends, including:

  • Feeling the pain: Insights from some of Ireland’s professional services firms into how companies have, and should have, reacted to date and what they see happening going forward
  • Selling in a post-Covid world
  • Battling Zoom Fatigue
  • Finance and Liquidity – experts outline how best to engage in financial planning for the year ahead and how SMEs without a lender relationship can access finance.
  • How to navigate and support your staff through a pandemic – even when you don’t have a HR department
  • Taking your business online
  • Government Incentives – Details on the government’s new fund for low-interest loans to SMEs, how can you avail of this and other initiatives available from Government

Linda Daly, Editor of The Sunday Times SME Supplement, says:The small and medium business sector is the backbone of Ireland. Unfortunately, it is also the sector most at risk from the Coronavirus fallout. While large firms and corporations can absorb the financial shock of the lockdown, some of the smaller, more unique businesses with a more modest footprint are the ones that will suffer most. Ironically, these are often the outfits with the most interesting backstories and in order to continue fulfilling unique local needs, small businesses need support. Our supplement is designed to help SMEs weather this storm of uncertainty.”


One third of people in Ireland have trialled digital audio streaming since March – Core Research

  • Digital streaming of radio has increased by over 30% since March – it is viewed as an important and trusted source of information in 2020
  • 1 million adults now claim to listen to podcasts – nearly half of these are new since Covid-19, with new listeners most likely to be women
  • Spotify listenership is reaching a mainstream – over 600,000 people have a subscription

One third of people in Ireland have trialled a new way to listen to audio – including music streaming, digital radio or podcasts – since March, according to new research from Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company.

The research looks at the evolution of music, radio and audio consumption, brought about as a result of people spending more time at home during the pandemic and trialling new audio technology solutions. The survey results are based on the views of 1,000 participants, interviewed online and representative of the adult population.

The research revealed that while streaming services have challenged FM radio in recent years, listeners are embracing new ways to listen to radio and has remained high with 3.6 million people listening every week (on standard radio or digital devices) – re-enforcing Irish radio’s importance as a trusted source of information. Digital streams increased by 33% since March across all RTE stations, and while this declined slightly in July, numbers recently increased again as people return from summer holidays and the news cycle focuses on new political debates.

When it came to music streaming, with multiple platforms including Amazon, Deezer, Apple and Google, the research revealed that the success in Ireland has been led by Spotify. Close to 1.3 million people have used ad-funded Spotify in the past (but this does not reflect the frequency of listenership) and 900,000 people have used Spotify premium, with approximately 640,000 of those being the actual subscriber (i.e. others in household may use the account).

Amazon Music also took a share of the market, with 370,000 adults having trialled the platform since July, while half a million people (14%) have tried Apple Music since March. When it came to the more niche players such as Google Play and Soundcloud, the research revealed they both took a much smaller market share, with 18% accessing Google Play while 16% used either the free or paid subscription version of Soundcloud.

The rise of podcasts has also increased, with over one million adults now listening to them and nearly half of these tuning in since Covid-19 began. Since March, new listeners of podcasts are more likely to be women, and 44% of new listeners are over the age of 45.

According to the research, 11.7% of people say they intend to listen to podcasts in the future which may be down to the diverse offering. In terms of the most popular category, comedy came out on top, while the second largest interest was society and culture followed by politics as well as health related topics.

Hannah-Louise Dunne, Head of Content Partnerships, at Core said: “We are seeing an increasing thirst for audio content as a result of Covid-19 which has brought about an evolution in the way audiences consume content. Podcasts have helped reinvent the audio audience attracting new listeners to a robust supply of binge-worthy entertainment and news content. Despite streaming and audio providers, broadcast radio remains a popular source of news and information, re-enforcing its importance as a trusted source in a time of heightened uncertainty and disrupted routines.”

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

To view the full findings of the Core Research report please click here:


Core wins two 2020 European Search Awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Christmas FM announces ALONE as official charity partner for 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Christmas FM on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram:


Christmas FM – Bringing You the Magic of Christmas