Starcom, part of Core, appointed Media Agency for Bulmers Ireland

  • Agency to start work on iconic Irish Brand Bulmers this Spring

Bulmers Ireland have this week joined forces with Starcom, part of Core. The Media team will initially focus on the Bulmers brand along with Five Lamps, San Miguel and Seven Summits. Starcom will initially manage a Summer campaign built on the new brand platform ‘When Time Bears Fruit.’

Anna Doyle, Board Director, Starcom shares more about the idea:

“We are excited to be working alongside leading iconic Irish Cider brand Bulmers, which is part of the C&C Group. The value of time has never been more relevant both as consumers and storytellers who celebrate shared moments together and we are thrilled to be a part of shaping this next chapter. It has been a challenging year for the Drinks and Hospitality industry and continues to be throughout 2021, so launching an entirely new brand platform ‘When Time Bears Fruit’ during these turbulent times is confident and ambitious. As Bulmers Ireland new agency partner, we will mirror this ambition, and look forward to reinvigorating one of Ireland’s most prominent brands.”

Karl Donnelly, Marketing Director, Bulmers Ireland said:

“We are excited by our robust plans for 2021 and the ambition we have to grow the Bulmers brand and we look forward to working with Anna and her team at Starcom this year. As the category leader in Cider, Bulmers is in a strong position following recent off-trade share growth, so we need to build on this momentum. We hope that this Summer and beyond can provide more occasions to celebrate and Bulmers has always been a brand to provide those moments of epic refreshment to enjoy with our friends and family.”

Other clients of Starcom include AIB, An Post, Musgrave Group, National Lottery, Samsung, and Dixons Carphone.


Advertising spend in Ireland expected to increase by 8.9% to €983.6 million this year despite negative impact of COVID-19 according to ‘Outlook 2021’ report from Core

  • Continued growth expected for online video which is to increase by 13.1%, TV spend to increase by 6.6%
  • Print spend to fall by 5.3% to €74.7 million but digital revenue for national titles expected to increase by 8%
  • Overall online market to increase by 12.9% to €539.4 million, with Google and Facebook growing by 14% and 12% respectively
  • Core calls for Government intervention in supporting the indigenous advertising sector which has seen a decline in support by €162 million over the past two decades

Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, is forecasting that total media spend in Ireland will grow by 8.9% in 2021 to €983.6 million.

As with previous years, online will deliver the growth in the market, while print media will see a fourth consecutive year of decline, with overall spend falling 5.3% to €74.7 million despite the impact of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the level of total media spend in Northern Ireland is expected to increase by 8.3% to £180.2 million (€202.5m). This follows an overall decline in ad spend of 10.7% to £166.3 million (€186.9m) in 2020 which was bigger that the UK market as a whole, which showed remarkable resilience with a fall of just 7%.

The advertising market was hit hard in 2020 and estimated overall spends in the Republic of Ireland fell by 14.2% to €903.1 million. However, this is a far better outcome than was expected earlier in the pandemic when marketing activity was decimated; in Q2 and Q3 last year, spends declined by circa 48% and 29% respectively compared with the same quarters in the previous year.

The figures are contained in Core’s annual ‘Outlook’ report which forecasts spend for 2021 across a variety of media, including Video, Audio, Print, Online, Sponsorship and Out-of-Home. The report also outlines some of the key developments and important issues that will impact the sector this year.

Key forecasts from Core Outlook 2021 include:

Television – Despite strong viewing levels in 2020, TV advertising fell by 9.8% to €190.3 million. In 2021, the TV market will see a recovery increasing by 6.6% to €202.9 million as brands that were forced to curtail advertising in 2020 return to the medium.

Online Video – The online video market continues to perform strongly in the Republic of Ireland, increasing by 6% to €147.8 million in 2020. Facebook, including Instagram, continues to grow, accounting for 76% of the online video market (for advertising). This year, the market will continue to grow and is predicted to increase by 13.1% to €167.2 million.

Print – The print industry was significantly impacted by Covid-19 in 2020 with advertising revenues declining across numerous revenue sources including classified advertising, SMEs and local advertisers. Overall print spend fell by 25.3% to €78.9 million. Core predicts that the Republic of Ireland print market will contract by 5.3% to €74.7 million but digital revenue for national titles is expected to increase by 8% this year to €22.8m.

Cinema – 2020 was a tough year for the cinema industry with overall spend falling by more than 80% to €1.4 million in the Republic of Ireland. While there is expected to be little improvement for the first half of 2021, as the country exits lockdown, brands and audiences will return with spend predicted to almost double to €2.6 million. It is worth bearing in mind that this will only represent one third of the level of spend in 2019. In Northern Ireland, advertising investment fell by circa 70% to £0.45 million (€0.51m) in 2020. Like the South, Core expects cinema spends to double this year to £0.91 million (€1.02m).

Online – In 2020, online media spend experienced its first year-on-year decline falling by approximately 9.4% to €477.6 million. Despite their global growth, Google and Facebook’s combined advertising revenue in the Republic of Ireland contracted by 5.5% to €403.1 million. This year, the overall online market will increase by 12.9% to €539.4 million with Google and Facebook growing by 14% and 12% respectively. A continued surge in video investment will benefit both businesses, even though competition from TikTok will increase substantially this year.

Radio – In 2021, radio advertising will grow slightly to €104.2 million, an increase of 1.8%. Digital audio (podcasts and online streaming) investment has seen a surge since March 2020 as consumption increased and this will continue to grow, reaching approximately €7.3 million in 2021. Bauer Media Group’s recent acquisition of Communicorp, for circa €100 million, is predicted to be the standout event in the industry this year, and it is likely that Bauer’s strategy will be to boost the digital presence of its new assets to broaden listenership and drive new revenue.

Out-Of-Home – Advertising investment across all OOH formats is expected to increase by 13.9% to €59.8 million in 2021. However, this will be one third less than the investment in the medium in 2019. The OOH market in Northern Ireland recorded revenue of £11.4 million (€12.8m) in 2020, a decline of 31.9% on 2019. However, it was a better performance than the UK, which fell by 44%. The advertising investment in Northern Ireland will increase by 14.1% to £13.0 million (€14.6m)

Sponsorship – Investment in the sponsorship market in the Republic of Ireland, specifically fees paid, decreased by an estimated 14.8% to €160.6m in 2020, bucking the trend of sustained growth over recent years. In 2021, despite a feast of sport to look forward to, investment will decrease by a further 5% to €152.5m.

In a bid to ensure that Ireland has a sustainable media market for the future, Core is also calling for Government intervention to support indigenous outlets, who has seen revenue fall by circa €162m since 2000.

The organisation says that it is critically important for Ireland to have a thriving, ambitious, inquisitive, energetic news media and the Irish government must realise the pivotal role that all our indigenous media play in our culture, values and national identity.

Alan Cox, CEO of Core, says: “The prognosis for the future is concerning. Without government intervention, the number of indigenous outlets, and the range of what they cover will continue to shrink. We should not allow commercial market forces to shape the media landscape in Ireland, because this will eventually lead to market failure, with the breadth and depth of public-interest content being compromised.”

“Media play a pivotal role in building a sense of community and highlighting the wonderful and increasingly diverse aspects of life in Ireland. These goals can only be achieved in full through a pluralistic media market which includes well-resourced indigenous media that are focused on servicing the needs of the Irish public.”

This year, Core will be issuing a series of reports that will address the key issues facing the marketing industry, with Outlook being the first in the series.

Core Research is part of Core. Core employs a team of 330 people and consists of eight practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Research, Sponsorship and Strategy. Core has been 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 Outlook 2021, please visit


New children’s book aimed at explaining the Covid-19 pandemic in a child friendly way unveiled by children’s stage school owner and entrepreneur Alison Vard Miller

  • The Naughty Little Germ’ will help parents and guardians explain the concept of germs and transmission to kids – while also offering a positive and hopeful outlook for a ‘post-Covid’ world
  • Available now in Dunnes Stores, Tesco and Circle K outlets nationwide for just €9.99

A new book aimed at educating children about the Covid-19 pandemic has been launched by

children’s stage school owner, well-known performer and entrepreneur Alison Vard Miller.

Entitled ‘The Naughty Little Germ’, Alison’s debut book explains the pandemic in a child friendly way and is designed to act as a guide for parents and guardians to help explain the concept of Covid, germs and disease transmission to children.

Given her experience of working with children on a daily basis via her stage school business, Alison was aware that many children were becoming very anxious about the pandemic and finding it hard to make sense of the situation. As a result, she came up with the idea for The Naughty Little Germ, an engaging tale, beautifully illustrated by Bilal Karaca, that uses age-appropriate language to outline what is going on in the world today in a fun, colourful yet informative manner. With an emphasis on the importance of working as a team to get rid of the virus, the book also gives a positive and hopeful outlook to children for a ‘post-Covid’ world.

“The naughty little germ had a funny little name. His name was Covid, but there was nothing funny about Covid at all.

Covid was a very fast mover, it was almost like he had a super power to move about at supersonic speed.”

The Naughty Little Germ tells the story of a very bold ‘germ’ called Covid who arrives on planet earth and starts causing havoc by trying to make as many people sick as possible. Everywhere he went, the germ left his dirty foot prints behind him, but as they were so tiny, nobody could see them. These footprints started making everyone very ill. Eventually the people of the world came up with a simple plan to stop the germ – they decided to stay at home, be kind, show love and make sure to wash their hands with soap and water to clean away the naughty little footprints!

The Naughty Little Germ eventually gets bored and decides to go home to his own planet and life slowly returns to a ‘new normal’ for people everywhere. The aim of the book is to show that if we all work as a team and are kind to each other, we can beat The Naughty Little Germ.

“Covid may have left his naughty little footprints which we don’t forget, but the people of the world left footprints of love and kindness everywhere”

‘If we continue to be kind and work as a team, we can achieve Anything,’ said the boys and girls…..

Alison says: “I have worked with children for nearly 16 years and when I was forced to close ’The Miss Ali Stage School’ due to the pandemic, it got me thinking about what an unreal and unsettling time it is for children as they come to terms with the day-to-day changes in their lives. I wanted to write a book that gives a positive and hopeful outlook to children for a ‘post-Covid-19’ world. The book explains the pandemic in a child-friendly way and I see it as very much a guide for parents and guardians on how to explain the concept of germs and transmission to children.”

The Naughty Little Germ is available in most Dunnes Stores, Tesco and

Circle K outlets nationwide and retails at €9.99.

Mediaworks appoints Caroline Hughes and Alan McAuley to the Board

Mediaworks, part of Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, has appointed Caroline Hughes and Alan McAuley to the Board. Having successfully partnered with many of Ireland’s leading brands over the past 25 years, these appointments mark an important next phase in Mediaworks’ ambitious plans for the future while continually meeting the evolving requirements of its clients.

Caroline joined Mediaworks in 2017 bringing over a decade of experience in leading some of the industry’s biggest campaigns both in Ireland and the UK.

Commenting on her appointment, Caroline said: “I have always been motivated by making a difference for our clients and delivering the best solutions, with their success at the heart of what we do. I am delighted to join the Mediaworks board and I’m looking forward to building on our unique offering with the extremely talented team of people that we work with both in Mediaworks and across Core.”

Alan also joined Mediaworks in 2017 and is currently Head of Digital.  He has won numerous industry awards on behalf of clients, at both an international and domestic level.

“The opportunity to work closely with brilliant people – both from our clients’ teams and also within Mediaworks and Core – is what really excites me.  In joining the Board of Mediaworks, I am being afforded additional opportunities to make a positive impact for our clients, our company and our industry.  We are at a real turning point for the industry in relation to creativity, technology, and performance. I want to make sure that Mediaworks are at the top of every list in relation to these subjects,” said Alan.

In welcoming Caroline and Alan onto the Board, Paul Moran, Managing Director of Mediaworks, added: “Alongside our clients and colleagues, I have witnessed the strengths of both Alan and Caroline over the past four years. They both continually deliver on our promise of “forward, thinking” and their participation and inputs at Board level will ensure that Mediaworks will continue to be recognised as one of Ireland’s most client focussed, most creative and most awarded media agencies.”

Mediaworks is part of Core. Core employs a team of 330 people and consists of eight practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Research, Sponsorship and Strategy. Core has been 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



  • Strategic acquisition accelerates Affidea’s ambition to become one of the leading healthcare providers on the island of Ireland
  • This acquisition will accelerate the development of the Affidea outpatient surgery capacity in Ireland following on from the successful launch last year of their surgery centres in Dublin and Cork

Affidea Group, the leading European provider of diagnostic imaging, outpatient and cancer care services has today announced the acquisition of Orthoderm, a highly regarded outpatient healthcare provider with a reputation for the delivery of innovative and quality care from its clinic located outside Belfast in Northern Ireland. With this acquisition, Affidea is building further on its strategic vision to broaden its business model and add new outpatient care services that can complement its portfolio in patient centric care delivery.

Affidea Ireland, which was established in 2007, is part of the European Group, Affidea. The Irish operation has a number of  ExpressCare Clinics, which are ‘walk in’ facilities that treat minor injuries and illnesses that don’t require a hospital visit in Dublin, Cork and most recently Naas. The business also operates ten state-of-the-art diagnostic centres and two managed hospital services across the country that provide MRI, CT, Ultrasound, X-Ray and DEXA scan facilities*. Last year they launched a new outpatient surgery service in repsonse to Covid which saw them provide Consultant led plastics, dermatology, pain management  and ophthalmology services from their JCI accredited facilities.

The company continues to invest significantly in its irish infrastructure to facilitate rapid access to quality patient centric healthcare catering to both the public and private markets.  The company, which employs more than 300 professionals across Ireland, provides medical services to over 200,000 people in Ireland annually.

Barry Downes, CEO of Affidea Ireland, said: “With each acquisition we look for synergies that can add value to our patients, ensuring the continued provision of excellence in medical care. Adding Orthoderm to our network will result in best-in-class access to a wide range of medical services which will enable us to serve our patients, doctors and health systems across Ireland on a much more integrated level.”

“We look forward to working with the Orthoderm team during what is a very innovative period for healthcare to further develop and enhance our patient offering. Liz and Michael  bring with them a wealth of knowledge and know-how in the design and delivery of world class health services. The addition of Orthoderm will accelerate our capability to become one of the leading healthcare providers in Ireland.”

Founded in 2007, Orthoderm prides itself as being a leading provider of clinical and medical services across a wide range of medical and surgical specialties including Dermatology, Plastic surgery and Orthopaedics as well as pain management and GP services.  Located on site are two local anaesthetic theatres for day surgeries, making the clinic very attractive for patients, insurers and trusts.

In addition to the aforementioned range of services, Orthoderm provides physiotherapy and rehabilitation services through the Room One Physiotherapy practice. Room One enjoys an enviable reputation in the market as being the preferred provider for the sports community in Northern Ireland. Orthoderm remains on the Health & Social Care Board Select List for various specialties and continues to provide support to the Trusts through various waiting list initiatives. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Michael and Elizabeth Eames, co-directors of Orthoderm, said We are delighted to be joining the Affidea Group.“Orthoderm prides itself in providing a high standard of timely and efficient patient care in Northern Ireland across a wide range of medical and surgical specialties. Our team is highly motivated and we look forward to the opportunity to work with Affidea to expand the range of services that we offer to our patients.”

Orthoderm is the fourth acquisition made by Affidea in the last three months. Fortius clinic, the renowned UK healthcare provider in sports medicine, was acquired earlier this week, Sveti Rok, a reputed healthcare provider in Zagreb, Croatia, was announced at the beginning of December 2020 while Clinica Gamma, a nuclear medicine operator in Madrid, was announced in January 2021. Affidea has a long-term track record in successfully adding and integrating more than 140 centers in the last 5 years, reaching 280 centers across 15 countries in Europe, with over 8,500 professionals serving more than 7 million patients every year. 

Deloitte Northern Ireland assisted Affidea in relation to the acquisition as their Finance and Tax Advisors, while Flynn O’Driscoll acted as Legal Advisor. HNH was the Financial and Tax Advisors for Orthoderm while A&L Goodbody assisted them as Legal advisor.

HNH Managing Director Craig Holmes commented “HNH were delighted to act for Orthoderm on this transaction. This acquisition continues Affidea’s investment into the NI healthcare market following their previous acquisition of Northern MRI in 2015, where HNH also acted as Lead Advisor. Attracting further international investment to acquire a NI-based Company, indicates confidence in our local private sector and talent pool. This is a significant development for the local healthcare market.”

Enet and Fastcom connect ManorHUB in Leitrim with world class fibre connectivity to facilitate increased innovation for local companies

  • Manorhamilton based digital hub co-located with Merenda, a local family run manufacturing business
  • New state of the art video facility installed in ManorHUB will enable video conferencing and unified communications

Enet, Ireland’s largest open-access network operator, has announced it has delivered fibre connectivity to the Park Road Industrial Estate in Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim where the ManorHUB technology co-working space is located, as well as long established manufacturing company, Merenda. Both ManorHUB and Merenda’s access to high-speed broadband is via Fastcom, one of Ireland’s largest independently owned telecoms providers.

On the back of the future-proofed fibre connectivity delivered at the site, ManorHUB has become home to 10 local businesses, with the quality and reliability of the internet connection critical to the operations of all companies. ManorHUB is now expanding to facilitate a new video booth for tenants to use as the current and post pandemic work lifestyles evolve to include more video conferencing and unified communications.

Ronan Haslette, CEO of ManorHUB, commented: “Like all businesses, the tenants within ManorHUB are adapting to new ways of working that have evolved over the past 12 months. We have also had to adapt by creating a fully connected space that works for their requirements. The Enet fibre connectivity that facilitates our high-speed broadband from Fastcom has allowed us to upgrade our workspace to suit the rapidly evolving needs of our clients.”

Also in the same building is Merenda, a family business established in 1984 dedicated to manufacturing high-quality wood veneer component products. The business, which has played a significant part in the local community for nearly 40 years, moved to Fastcom broadband services (provided over Enet fibre) in 2015.

At the time, the move to fibre was implemented to help future proof digital connectivity for the business. That foresight is now paying off handsomely, with Merenda preparing to unveil a new cloud-based ERP system in April 2021, which will support the backend information flow required for Merenda’s new E-Commerce platform launching in the summer of 2021 – something that is only possible as a result of the reliable, high-speed internet service provided by Fastcom. 

Lorraine Gribbons, Fastcom Managing Director, commented, “We are delighted to supply Fastcom’s dedicated fibre connectivity to both Merenda and ManorHUB, having done so since 2015. In these times, where high quality connectivity is paramount to the success of businesses all across the country, it is great to see the benefits it brings to both entities as well as the remote working business tenants within the hub. We are confident that, by partnering together on this, the businesses are in a great position for continued future growth and development.”

“We are delighted to have delivered world class fibre infrastructure to Manorhamilton,” said Cormac Ryan, Enet’s Commercial Director. “The connectivity into ManorHUB provides state of the art services for businesses, as well as providing top class facilities for remote workers.”

Enet operates the largest alternative wholesale telecoms network in Ireland, which comprises of over 5,400km of fibre infrastructure, including the Irish State’s Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs), proprietary metro networks, a unique dark fibre backhaul infrastructure, as well as one of the largest licensed wireless networks in the country.

Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland releases latest Complaints Bulletin

  • 6 advertisements found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading, Misleading / Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Misleading /Promotions

2nd March 2021 – The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee has released its latest Complaints Bulletin, which contains 7 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the organisation.

6 outof the 7 advertisements were found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds related to Misleading, Misleading / Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Misleading / Promotions. The advertisements complained of related to Television, Online – Influencer’s Social Media Account, Radio and Press. The ASAI Complaints Committee chose not to uphold one consumer complaint.

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 a variety of platforms, 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 advertisements that have been found to be in breach of the ASAI Code:

Company/OrganisationComplaint CategoryFurther Details
  Ryanair  Misleading    59 complaints were received about the advertising.   Issue 1 (a) Most of the complainants challenged whether the advertising had the potential to mislead consumers and considered that there was no guarantee that they would be able to travel to the destinations referenced in the advertising by Easter 2021.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.   Issue 1 (b) Some complainants queried the reference to the claim that ‘If your plans change so you can your booking” and queried whether they would incur an additional cost to change their booking.   Complaint not Upheld.   Issue 2 Complainants queried whether the advertisement conflicted with public health guidelines, which had the potential to change and whether it would be safe to travel at the time referenced in the advertising.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of Sections 3.3 and 4.4 of the Code     Issue 3 Some complainants considered that the advertising was irresponsible, insensitive and offensive and trivialised the effects which the pandemic was having on society and in particular front-line workers.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of Section 3.3 of the Code   Issue 4 ASAI Executive raised Code section 11.16 which provided that prescription only medicines may not be advertised to the public.   Complaint Not Upheld.   Overall, advertising was in breach of sections 3.3, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.   Complaint Issues 1a, 2 and 3 Upheld.   Link:  
  Nestle Nutrition  Misleading /Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages    Issue 1: The advertisers stated that the advertisement had referred to the ‘transfer of antibodies’ and the ‘forging of neural pathways’ as examples of the fascinating effect a baby had on the mother. They said they did not claim that their formula milk reproduced those effects; instead, they said that these examples of unwavering care had inspired them.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of Sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code     Issue 2: The advertisers said that the advertisement featured an approved health claim for Vitamins D as both a voice-over and as on-screen text. They said that the use of a health claim was permitted if the quantity of the product that can reasonably be expected to be consumed provided a significant quantity of the nutrient or other substance to which the claim relates.   Complaint Not upheld.   Overall, advertising was in breach of sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Complaint at Issue 1 Upheld.   Link:  
  Tesco Ireland    Misleading/Promotions  The complainant, on viewing the advertisement, noted that the offer was promoted as being for the bank holiday weekend. On visiting their local store on the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend they were advised that the offer was over. As the advertisement had not included any information on the availability of the offer, they considered that the advertising was misleading.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1, 5.5 and 5.15 (c) of the Code.   Link:  
  Goldcore    Misleading  The complainant objected to the statement “Ireland’s most trusted metal experts” as they did not consider that the advertiser was in a position to substantiate the claim.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.   Link:  
  Blackberry Hearing  Misleading  Specsavers Optical Group Limited objected to the advertising on the following grounds:   Issue 1: Specsavers considered that the claim “Ireland’s Best Hearing Aid provider” on the advertisers’ home page had not been substantiated.   Issue 2: Specsavers considered that the statement ‘We offer the best technology at the best prices.” on the “Our Story” section of the advertisers’ website constituted a comparative claim.   Issue 3: Specsavers objected to the statement “We do not own retail shops on the high-street and we don’t advertise on TV or in National Newspapers; this allows us to offer you, our customers, lower prices than our competitors” on the grounds that there did not appear to be any basis for asserting that the cost of TV or national newspaper advertisements was in some way connected to hearing aid prices offered by competitors.   Complaints at Issue 1, 2 and 3 Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10 4.31, 4.32 and 4.33 of the Code.   Link:  
  Independent  Misleading  The complainant considered that the advertisement was misleading as the advertised price reduction was based on the price charged by a third party and not by the advertisers.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of section 4.26 of the Code.   Link:    

The following advertisement was investigated and the ASAI Complaints Committee found that it did not breach the Code on the grounds raised in the complaints.

Company/OrganisationComplaint CategoryFurther Details
  SuperValu   Misleading  The complainant considered that the offer was in breach of the Code as they did not believe that sufficient stock had been sourced for the promotion.   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

Have you a plan in place for your pets should anything happen to you? The DSPCA’s Pet Guardian Programme is a service available to loving pet owners across Ireland

Our pets are valued members of the family and it can be hard to think about what might happen them, should anything happen to you. The DSPCA’s Pet Guardian Programme provides pet owners with peace of mind that ensures a solid plan is in place for a family pet(s) in the event of a death or becoming incapacitated.

When you sign up to the Programme, you are entrusting the care of your beloved pet(s) to the DSPCA at the time of your passing or move into residential care.  We know it can be hard to think about, but it’s important to make plans for your pet(s) in the event of a serious illness or death. The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA), Ireland’s oldest and largest animal welfare organisation, has re-launched their Pet Guardian Programme that is a free nationwide service for beloved pet owners.

Want to know more?

  • Simply contact the DSPCA on our dedicated Pet Guardian Programme number 0860451756 or email to receive your information pack.

In the event of an individual’s passing:

  • The DSPCA will be notified and will immediately collect your pet(s) and bring them to the charity’s shelter in Rathfarnham Dublin.
  • Our veterinary team will carry out a full health check and if needed contact your vet for a full medical history. Most importantly, our care staff will provide them with lots of love and attention during their stay with us.
  • Our adoptions team will spend time getting to know your pet(s) and will ensure that they go to a loving home that will be suitable for them and their needs.

Suzanne McGovern, Corporate Relations Manager at the DSPCA, said: When someone becomes

unwell, you start to think about the people and things that are important and of value to us.  For so many of us, a pet is a loved and valued member of the family so it’s important that you make provisions for them and plan for their future. The DSPCA’s Pet Guardian Programme is a free service and open to people of all ages across Ireland.  Knowing that you have a plan in place for your pets is very re-assuring. 

The DSPCA, a registered charity, is dedicated to the promotion of animal welfare and the protection and rehabilitation of sick, abused or neglected animals. Located on a 32-acre site in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, the DSPCA campus offers shelter and care to a wide variety of animals. In fact, the organisation rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes over 2,500 animals each year – domestic and wildlife.

The DSPCA has a dedicated and trained force of Animal Welfare Inspectors to investigate complaints of cruelty and neglect, to provide guidance and education to animal owners, initiate prosecutions for offences and attend to sick and injured stray animals or those which have been abandoned.

The DSPCA Vet Team works seven days a week providing critical care, carrying out lifesaving surgeries and performing over 3,000 neuter/spay operations annually. They also provide ongoing care and veterinary support to over 300 animals in the DSPCA Foster Programme.

The DSPCA also works closely with the Irish Government to keep legislation updated and implemented to further improve the lives of all animals. Founded in 1840, the DSPCA is Ireland’s oldest and largest animal welfare organisation.

To find out more about the Pet Guardian or to speak to a member of the DSPCA , simply check out or call 0860451756. Email

Follow the DSPCA on:

Twitter: @DublinSPCA


Instagram: @dspcaadoptions

Over half (51%) of people in Ireland say they are concerned by a lack of transparency in influencer marketing according to research conducted by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland

  • Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) are familiar with the practice of influencer marketing
  • 59% consider influencers who do not seem authentic to be ‘annoying’ while 57% get ‘annoyed’ at seeing too much sponsored content
  • Over 40% believe influencers to be more responsible with advertising today compared to three years ago

23rd February 2021

Just over half (51%) of people in Ireland say they are concerned by a lack of transparency in influencer marketing, according to recent research from the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI), the independent, self-regulatory body committed to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications in Ireland.

The research looks at the influencer industry in Ireland and reveals the impact on consumer behaviour and attitudes. The survey results are based on the views of 1,224 participants across a broad demographic, interviewed online and representative of the adult population.

Nearly 3 in 4 people (73%) are familiar with the practice of influencer marketing, with a majority (80%) believing that when an influencer posts an ad, they are being paid by the brand to post positive content and that any mentions of a brand in a post means it is advertising (75%).

The research found that while 76% have used social media for tips and inspiration, 57% find too much sponsored content ‘annoying’. Similarly, the majority of Irish adults (59%) find over edited photos ‘annoying’ as well as influencers who do not seem authentic or misrepresent real life (59%).

Additional bugbears include content that takes advantage of impressionable audiences (52%) and repetitive posts (49%). However, 42% believe influencers to be more responsible with advertising that they were three years ago.

The research also provides insight into the efficacy of online advertising, with two thirds (66%) of social media users able to spontaneously recall hashtags or phrases such as #ad, #sponsored or #brandambassador used to identify advertising content.

The ASAI has strict guidelines around how influencer content should be flagged having introduced guidance on the ‘Recognisability of Marketing Communications’ – covering commercial content created on behalf of brands as well as commercial content created by influencers for their own products and services.

Commenting on the research, Orla Twomey, Chief Executive of the ASAI, said: Over the last number of years influencers have cemented their place in the digital advertising space and this is set to increase further this year and beyond. However, with power lies great responsibility as consumers are demanding more from the influencers they follow and trust. The report findings prove that if influencer marketing is to sustain and deliver desired ROI, trust and transparency needs to be established every step of the way, from influencer selection right through to campaign delivery.

“Although there has been vast improvement in recent years, influencers and brands alike will need to step up and build more authentic campaigns that resonate with the consumer as doing so will provide a more meaningful experience for all involved.”

To coincide with the second wave of research results, the ASAI today hosted a webinar called ‘#InfluencerMarketing in 2021 and beyond – retaining trust through transparency’. Those who took part were:

  • Louise McSharry, RTE 2FM presenter, who moderated the discussion
  • Darren Kennedy, TV Presenter and Entrepreneur, discussed his experience as an influencer in Ireland
  • Dael Wood, Dentsu, gave an overview of the research results
  • Orla Twomey, CEO of the ASAI, discussed the organisation’s ongoing work in the influencer marketing space and its updated Guidance Note on influencers
  • Scott Guthrie, UK based Influencer Marketing Advisor, discussed the evolution and future of influencer marketing in his marketplace
  • Hayley Browning, Corporate Communications Manager with The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) provided an overview on consumer protection laws and misleading information

To find out more information about the webinar or to watch it back, please contact

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’.

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. Advertising in breach of the Code must be withdrawn or amended.


The research was carried out by Amárach Research. Fieldwork took place from 21st – 23rd October 2020 with a sample of 1,224 participants.

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

of the system is available at

Follow the ASAI on Twitter @THE_ASAI