Conor’s no­to­ri­ous ad whips up a storm

Irish Independent - Business Week - - NEWS -

THE Bud­weiser ‘Big Dream’ ads with MMA fighter Conor McGregor caused quite a brouhaha in ad­land and be­yond. Lit­tle won­der. How Guin­ness owner Di­a­geo – Bud’s fran­chise holder in Ire­land – could roll out ads with hero of the young McGregor on TV, bill­boards and print has left many peo­ple baf­fled. How come the pow­ers-thatbe al­lowed the Bud ads go ahead?

Ad­land is served by the Cen­tral Copy Clear­ance Ire­land (CCCI) group, trad­ing as Copy­Clear. How did beer ads, which clearly glam­or­ise a hero of the young, so eas­ily slip through the vet­ting net? The Ad­ver­tis­ing Stan­dards Author­ity (ASAI) op­er­ates self-reg­u­la­tion for ad­ver­tis­ers and agen­cies. The ASAI code says “all mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions should be pre­pared with a sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity both to the con­sumer and to so­ci­ety”.

In its man­ual, the ASAI in­sists the code essence should ap­ply in spirit as well in let­ter. Beer ads should “not ex­ploit the young or the im­ma­ture”. The ASAI calls on brand own­ers to take ac­count of the age pro­file be­cause al­co­hol ads are com­mu­ni­cated, so far as is pos­si­ble, to adults. Aspects of youth cul­ture “likely to ap­peal to chil­dren” should not be em­ployed.

Like Guin­ness, the code is there in black and white. In the 2015 Copy­Clear an­nual re­port, chair­man Fin­tan Cooney ad­mits that while clear­ance man­agers re­port high lev­els of com­pli­ance with the code on al­co­hol ads, there’s ev­i­dence that some ad­ver­tis­ers aren’t work­ing within “the spirit of the code” – a ma­jor con­cern for the Copy­Clear board.

Cooney, a for­mer agency di­rec­tor now work­ing with Fana­gans funeral home, says the vast ma­jor­ity of ads (94.4pc) sub­mit­ted last year com­plied with the ASAI code.

Copy­Clear re­cently com­pleted a third round of client sat­is­fac­tion among ad­ver­tis­ers. While the re­sponse rate was poor, 86pc of re­spon­dents saw the ser­vice as be­ing “good or ex­cel­lent”.

How­ever, the un­ease caused by the Bud ads with McGregor as hero sends out the wrong mes­sage to young peo­ple. Was the cam­paign au­tho­rised by Di­a­geo or An­heuser-Busch’s mar­ket­ing bosses in St Louis, Mis­souri – or, in­deed, did both par­ties give the go-ahead to UK agency Adam & Eve. In fair­ness to RTE, those re­spon­si­ble for screen­ing TV com­mer­cials for the na­tional broad­caster were adamant in re­fus­ing to air the Bud ads.

Like McGregor, the ads are no­to­ri­ous. They make a non­sense of Drink Aware’s ‘Drink re­spon­si­bly’ slo­gan and cre­ate a headache which hope­fully won’t have any han­gover ef­fects. Q Ir­ish woman Ais­ling O’Con­nor has just been made se­ries pro­ducer of ‘Panorama’, BBC Tele­vi­sion’s f lag­ship cur­rent af­fairs and in­ves­ti­ga­tions se­ries.

O’Con­nor was com­mis­sion­ing editor for day­time and early peak pro­gram­ming at BBC TV for over two years. She was the BBC’s com­pli­ance ex­ec­u­tive for a decade and had a stint com­mis­sion­ing mu­sic and arts shows.

She stud­ied me­dia at the Univer­sity of West­min­ster. A na­tive of Killiney, Co Dublin, she re­cently ad­dressed Leav­ing Cert stu­dents at her alma mater, Loreto Abbey in Dalkey. She spoke can­didly about life’s ups and downs and work­ing along­side ‘ Weak­est Link’ pre­sen­ter Anne Robinson, who she thinks is just as un­for­giv­ing off- cam­era.

O’Con­nor’s ad­vice for school-leavers em­bark­ing on a new life jour­ney is to work hard, try and get on with peo­ple, be f lex­i­ble and have fun. Q Ar­guably the most hotly con­tested gong at the Mar­ket­ing In­sti­tute’s AIM awards was for the top mar­ket­ing team.

Five teams were in the running with two of last year’s Mar­keter of the Year fi­nal­ists – AIB, led by Tom Kinsella, and Heineken Ire­land, headed up by Sharon Walsh – the most fan­cied.

When all was said and done, the Dutch brewer, whose Or­chard Thieves cider launch was the toast of the drinks in­dus­try last year, won out.

If there were awards for the best dressed lady, it would be im­pos­si­ble to ig­nore Me­di­aworks’ Fiona Field and Mar­garet Colton of Dunnes Stores, who looked re­splen­dent in wine and cerise pink re­spec­tively.

But the night’s grand prix in the gúna glam­our stakes goes to Carat duo Eimear O’Far­rell and Eimear McCabe. Q Speak­ing of Carat, the Dentsu Aegis Net­work agency is de­fend­ing its Dunnes Stores busi­ness. Also com­pet­ing for the iconic Ir­ish re­tailer are GroupM’s Maxus and Om­ni­com’s PHD. Else­where on the me­dia buy­ing front, a de­ci­sion is due soon on the Su­per­Valu re­view. Mind­share, Vizeum and the in­cum­bent Star­com are in the running. Q On the PR front, Lif­fey Val­ley Shop­ping Cen­tre’s own­ers has seen agen­cies PR360, PSG and Re­volve. The cen­tre is un­der­go­ing a €26m ex­pan­sion with the coun­try’s sec­ond big­gest Pen­neys store due to open later this year. The ex­pan­sion also in­cludes six restau­rants over three f loors, an Olympic size ice rink and a new Vue mul­ti­plex cin­ema. Q WHPR has won the Eti­had Air­ways ac­count pre­vi­ously han­dled by Malachi Quinn’s MQ2 Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. The United Arab Emi­rates (UAE) na­tional car­rier first landed in Ire­land in 2007. The air­line sponsors the GAA All Ire­land Hurl­ing Cham­pi­onship and Manch­ester City FC.

Michael Cullen is editor of Mar­ket­ cullen@ mar­ket­

Mixed mar­tial arts hero Conor McGregor ap­pear­ing in the ad­vert for Bud­weiser

Carat’s Eimear O’Far­rell and Eimear McCabe at the AIM awards

Ex­pand­ing Lif­fey Val­ley looks at PR con­tenders

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.