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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Core has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last six years at the Media Awards and the company was also recently voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the ninth year running.


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