1,648 complaints received by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) in 2020 and 63 advertisements found to be in breach of ASAI Code

2020 ASAI Annual Report shows significant majority (68%) of complaints were made

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

28 April 2021

A total of 1,648 written complaints concerning 1,072 advertisements were received by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) last year, according to the organisation’s 2020 Annual Report which was released today. This represents an 12.6% decrease on the number of complaints received in 2019, while the number of advertisements complained about increased by just over 22% compared to the same figure for 2019.

The ‘Health & Beauty’ sector attracted the greatest number of complaints (308), followed by ‘Telecommunications (201), and ‘Leisure’ (142). ‘Digital Media’ gave rise to the highest number of complaints by media (871), representing 52% of all complaints, while complaints relating to broadcast media (TV and radio combined) totalled 631, and outdoor media attracted 36 complaints. Of the 871 digital media complaints, 70 complaints related to influencer marketing advertisements, which were 4% of all complaints received.

The ASAI, which is the independent self-regulatory body committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications, found that 63 advertisements were in breach of the ASAI’s Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications.

The ASAI Annual Report outlines that 68% of the complaints made in 2020 were on the basis that an advertisement was misleading, while 12% were made on the basis that an advertisement was offensive. There were also a wide range of other issues covered by the ASAI Code that were raised by members of the public, including concerns about promotional marketing practices, food and non-alcoholic beverages, health & beauty, e-cigarettes, children, alcohol advertising, slimming and gambling.

The ASAI was established in 1981 and the objective of the ASAI Code is to ensure that all commercial marketing communications are ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’. The ASAI Code covers commercial marketing communications and sales promotions in all media in Ireland including digital (online banners, websites and social platforms), print, outdoor, radio, TV, leaflets/brochures, and direct marketing.

The ASAI offers advertisers, agencies, media and promoters a copy advice service on whether a proposed marketing communication or sales promotion conforms to the Code. Copy advice is communicated confidentially, is non-binding and is given free of charge. In total, 115 requests from advertisers, advertising agencies and media for copy advice were received in 2020, 18% lower than received in 2019. The ASAI copyadvice@asai.ie service serves as an authoritative opinion, given by the Executive but does not bind the ASAI Complaints Committee.

Complaints by sector are as follows, with comparative figures for 2019 and 2018:

SECTOR                                                        2020                2019                2018   

HEALTH & BEAUTY                                          308                     230                 166

TELECOMMUNICATIONS                                 201                     139                 193

LEISURE                                                           142                     172                 222

TRAVEL/HOLIDAYS                                          131                     170                 102

HOUSEHOLD                                                    110                     104                 100

FOOD & BEVERAGES                                      105                     137                 289

MOTORING                                                       83                       161                 100

CLOTHING/FOOTWEAR                                    76                       102                 80

NON-COMMERCIAL*                                         63                       170                 158

FINANCIAL                                                        49                       107                 75

ALCOHOL                                                         41                       31                  26

PROPERTY                                                      30                       27                  17

PUBLISHING                                                     24                       44                  12

BUSINESS                                                        23                       26                  37

COMPUTERS                                                    13                       15                  18

EMPLOYMENT/BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES    13                       6                    9

EDUCATION                                                     7                        48                  11

AGRICULTURE                                                 4                        3                    9

TV/AUDIO/VIDEO                                              4                        8                    20

MISCELLANEOUS                                             187 203                 103

                                                                        1,614                  1,903              1,747

Complaints by Media are as follows, with comparative figures for 2019 and 2018:

Complaints by Media

MEDIA                          2020              2019            2018

Digital Media            871                        976                        948

Broadcast                631                        552                        516

Brochures/Leaflets    38                          63                          58

Outdoor                   36                          226                        350

Print                         34                          80                          91

Direct Marketing       23                          61                          49

Cinema                    4                           4                           12

other                        44                          59                          95


The ASAI conducts ongoing monitoring of advertising across all media including monitoring compliance with the adjudications of the Independent Complaints Committee.

In terms of engagement highlights, ASAI welcomed Google as the first corporate member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), and a partner of the ad self-regulatory (SR) network. This new partnership with a well-established and recognised advertising self-regulatory network demonstrates Google’s commitment to responsible advertising.

In marking the significance of this development, ASAI noted that Google was the first digital pure play company to join the Alliance alongside 13 other industry associations representing the various stakeholders in the advertising ecosystem, which are all committed to ensuring responsible advertising and 28 advertising self-regulatory organisations (SROs), including the ASAI, which administer and enforce national advertising self-regulatory codes.

In 2020, the ASAI also continued its ongoing focus on providing information and guidance to the influencer and blogger industry. As part of this, ASAI conducted research around consumer sentiment in this area which revealed just over half (51%) of people in Ireland say they are concerned by a lack of transparency in influencer marketing. With transparency being a significant aspect of the ASAI’s brief in seeking to maintain the highest standards in advertising, this statistic demonstrates the level of consumer concern in a growth marketing area. The concept of transparency is one that the ASAI continues to strongly promote amongst advertisers, and particularly in the growth area of influencer marketing.

Commenting on the 2020 Annual Report, Orla Twomey, CEO of the ASAI, said:

“The ASAI is committed to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications in Ireland and our 2020 Annual Report is testament to this statement, conveying the sheer breadth of advertisements adjudicated on by the ASAI’s independent Complaints Committee.

“The engagement with the ASAI and compliance with the adjudication of the independent Complaints Committee, demonstrates that advertisers in Ireland are completely on board with the ASAI in our bid to protect consumers and ensure the highest standards of advertising and marketing communications.

“2020 saw the ASAI continue to deeply engage in all our service offerings. In particular, there was a valuable increase with both our influence and strong contributions in the area of policy and Code including: unsubstantiated or misleading claims about Covid-19, welcoming Google to the EASA Network, and influencer marketing and recognisability. The requirement for ASAI contributions in these areas, all of national importance, are indicative of the place we hold as an acknowledged expert on setting standards for advertising.”

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

In the 40 years since the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland was founded in 1981 by some of the then most far-seeing fathers of our industry, there have been many years in which challenges were real, varied, and unpredictable and had to be grappled with.

“However, it is doubtful if any year threw up the extreme conditions that we have witnessed in 2020. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, our worlds were, and continue to be, turned upside down when all normal and predictive thinking was thrown out the window. Working and communicating remotely became, and remain, the necessary norm.

“It is my honour to pay tribute to everyone associated with the ASAI for their quite remarkable dedication, loyalty and supports during the past twelve months. While it is difficult to predict how 2021 will be, the one thing we can all be sure of is that 2020 has given us the opportunity to successfully leverage our extensive capabilities as the Irish advertising regulator. We have embraced the challenges and opportunities presented while continuing to thrive and flourish, always with a view to ensuring the highest standards of advertising for all stakeholders.”

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

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

copy of the 2020 ASAI Annual Report

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

SSE Airtricity Appoints Core as Sponsorship Consultants


SSE Airtricity has appointed Core Sponsorship as key advisors for their Sponsorship Portfolio, both for existing and future sponsorships. These include Title Sponsor of the League of Ireland Premier and First Division (football) and Women’s National League (football), The SSE Arena in Belfast and Sustainability Partner to Dublin Zoo.

As part of the appointment, Core Sponsorship will provide SSE Airtricity with ongoing strategic advice on the brand’s sponsorship activity and investment. Led by Noel Martyn, the team will also support the brand to source and evaluate new opportunities, as well as delivering best practice on the performance measurement of their properties.

This sponsorship measurement will be informed by Core’s National Sponsorship Index – Ireland’s only sponsorship index – developed to evaluate sponsorships impact on key business metrics. Other services within the sponsorship consultancy include contracting negotiations and activation strategy expertise.

Speaking about the announcement, Leanne Sheill, Marketing Manager – Sponsorship of SSE Airtricity:

“We are delighted to appoint Core Sponsorship and look forward to developing our relationship. Core Sponsorship will provide us with ongoing strategic advice– both for our sponsorship portfolio as well as any potential opportunities. Services provided include sponsorship strategy, contracting and measurement, in addition to keeping us up to date on emerging trends.”

Jill Downey, Managing Director, Core Sponsorship added:

“Not only do SSE Airtricity work with some of Ireland’s great cultural and sporting events, but central to the brand is a focus on sustainability. We are building considerable expertise in purpose-led partnerships so we are very excited to be working with an organisation like SSE Airtricity who can make a genuine difference for the environment. We already have some exciting plans, and we look forward to working closely with the brand team and their partners.”

The Sunday Times announce industry first by replacing plastic packaging with new recyclable paper banding

In an industry first, The Sunday Times has announced a significant change to its packaging to reduce waste. From this Sunday, 25th April, The Sunday Times supplements will switch to using a recyclable paper banding instead of a plastic wrap in its mission to remove all single-use plastic from the newspaper. The paper banding is also available to advertisers as a fresh new and impactful advertising proposition.

The initiative is a significant step and is the final element of News Ireland Ltd’s plastics pledge to remove all single-use plastic used to wrap its titles and inner magazines. The move will reduce the amount of plastic from 15 tonnes to zero in its products. The organisation is currently sourcing 100% of its paper from sustainable management systems.

John Burns, Acting Editor at the Sunday Times, said: “We’re very pleased to introduce our new recyclable paper banding. We’ve put plastics at the centre of our sustainability drive, building on work to reduce our emissions further through a variety of initiatives. This new innovative format offers brands a great opportunity to engage with their audience in a unique way.”

Enet’s new 10GB connection for National Space Centre lays foundation for unprecedented 100GB capacity for space research in rural Cork

Enet, Ireland’s largest open access network provider, has successfully delivered a 10GB internet connection to the National Space Centre (NSC) in Elfordstown, Cork. Working against tight deadlines and connecting to the remote site, Enet completed installation of the 10GB ethernet connection as Phase 1 of a plan that will see planned capacity grow to 100GB, unprecedented in rural Ireland.

The Cork location is Europe’s most westerly teleport and Ireland’s only commercial ground station. Enet delivered the 10GB ethernet connection, which links the NSC to London, four months ahead of usual lead times and the connection is extremely significant given the rural location.

The connection is now supporting the National Space Centre as a world class carrier-grade commercial teleport. The €24M Elfordstown location provides commercial broadcast services, ground control support for satellites and spacecraft, academic research partnerships and space industry consulting. The NSC’s co-located Space Campus is also home to more than a dozen Irish space start-ups and EU-headquartered space enterprises.

Opened as Elfordstown Earthstation in 1984 at a cost of IR£8M, approximately €25M today, the facility celebrated ten years of operation as the NSC in 2020. The refurbished site has grown from five initial antennas to 33 antennas on-site in 2021. These range from a variety of dishes as small as 3.7M to the site’s flagship 32M dish, known as The Big Dish.

Rory Fitzpatrick, CEO of the National Space Centre, said: “NSC is increasing capacity as the first step in a major backbone upgrade focused on Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Our rural location outside Midleton means we have a hugely advantageous position as Europe’s most westerly teleport. It also means that as we grow, we can face infrastructure delivery issues we could not overcome without the commitment of key partners like Enet.”

CEO of Speed Fibre Group, which is home to Enet, Peter McCarthy said: “This 10GB connection for the National Space Centre demonstrates Enet’s ability to deliver a wholesale connectivity service on a truly nationwide basis. We’re also delighted that we delivered this connection four months ahead of usual lead times. To be in a position to offer a 100GB connection as a phase 2 option is also evidence of our ability to deliver scalability to enterprises right across the country – helping to facilitate their growth, which, in turn, supports the wider Irish economy.”

Jen Walsh, Head of Digital, appointed to the board of Zenith

Zenith, part of Core, has appointed Jen Walsh, Head of Digital, to the board. Her appointment is part of Zenith’s commitment to continual development of digital capabilities within Zenith, and to analysing and predicting client’s digital needs.

Walsh has been in Zenith for five years, having previously held digital leadership roles in IPG as well as working as a digital design consultant with SMEs and charities. She has been integral to the growth of Zenith’s digital offering through her own expertise, her development of a digital team within Zenith, and her focus on building digital capabilities in and out of the agency.

Speaking of her appointment, Jen Walsh says

I am proud to join the board of Zenith with the ambition of building on the great work we’ve already achieved. Zenith and Core have always worked hard to deliver the best strategic thinking, innovation and performance. With the changing landscape across tech and commerce, as well as the business implications from the pandemic, we are committed to providing our clients with this strategic value and insight to face future opportunities and challenges. I am very much looking forward to being part of the driving force in Zenith and to continue to make a positive impact on our clients business.

Chris Nolan, Managing Director of Zenith, says

In the time I have worked with Jen she has demonstrated clear vision on what we can achieve within the ever expanding and complex world of digital. She understands that our clients not only rely on us to keep them up to speed on what is coming, and the consequences of the constantly changing environment, but also to be their trusted advisors across all of digital. Jen understands how to balance deep digital expertise and ensure the area is accessible to everyone.

Zenith have seen fantastic growth over the last nine months, having won a pitch for the IDA last year, as well as retaining Reckitt Benckiser and KFC. They have started 2021 with growth not only on 2020 but on 2019. This strengthening of the leadership team will enable them to maintain their momentum throughout the year and onwards.

Zenith 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.

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 onecore.ie/outlook21


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 www.onecore.ie



  • 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.”