This week we wanted to share a short video by Digital Prophet, David Shing. David gave this same talk at the last IAB conference in Dublin and all of us in attendence from OMD were blown away by some of the statistics and insights that he shared.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!



A Week in Media

March 12, 2013

A week is long time in media. It felt like it started last Thursday morning, media award entries were being frantically finalised and I was en route to Google to meet with Dan Cobley, the MD for Google UK and Ireland. I always enjoy my trips to Barrow Street, in particular to the search giants newest ‘Docks’ building. Apart from the team of Googlers who appear to be perennially upbeat and the anticipation of some free food, the views from their offices are magnificent. I’ve been in their offices many times but I always seem to end up in a room with better views than the last time I was there, and the outlook on Dublin from their offices, to me at least, is far from the Dirty Old Town of the Dubliner’s day. It’s a view that you’d like to bottle up and share with everyone. Dan, being of the Google persuasion had a very positive outlook on Dublin and beyond. He talked about the trends that Google are seeing, the foremost of which is the move to mobile devices. He described their ‘Boxing Day test’ where they saw on Boxing Day/Stephens Day last year that searches went up by 25% overnight and have gone up by 280% year on year, now accounting for about 50% of all searches. It’s not just the views of Dublin that are changing.

The highlight of Friday was the Digital Media Awards at the Convention centre where OMD team were delighted to pick up a Gold and two silver awards.

On Monday we saw the finished prototype of some software that we have been developing locally which looks like it’s going to achieve its goal of making everyone’s load a little easier. On Monday evening, I found myself on one of the 10% of buses that currently have WiFi as I headed town-wards to join some friends for dinner. Having contributed to the 50% of mobile searches, my Twitter feed then told me that the Off the Ball presenting team had resigned en masse from Newstalk.  Gutted! Sick as a parrot! It appeared I wasn’t alone, as the twitter roll broadcast an outpouring of, often humorous, disappointment. What this group of lads have achieved is delivering confident, insightful, witty and, at the same time, humble radio, the likes of which we hadn’t witnessed before and will be sorely missed. The rumour mill abounds with what will happen next, but one suspects, sadly, that once the magic is let out of the bottle, it is hard to put back. The Commercial Director of Communicorp, Gavin Byrne, coincidentally, was in the office on Tuesday morning. One could understand the commercial imperatives that underpinned the management stance in the decision. However, the station, as with the presenting team, will find it difficult to gather up all the right ingredients for the magic potion.

On Tuesday afternoon, I was off to the Irish Times, another office that offers a different perspective on the Dublin Skyline as well as the Irish media landscape. I was there with our friends in Ashoka, discussing the next, richer instalment of our partnership with the paper. In reception, coincidentally again, we bumped into Ashoka Fellow Caroline Casey, who, as always, brightened up my day.

Ashoka would feature again in my week, on Wednesday evening, but not until after we had our OMD Future Forward meeting during the day, where our senior team gathered round and plotted what we hope to achieve through the year. There was a great energy in the room. As there was that evening, as a guest of Key Capital Finance and Delloites, two other Ashoka fellows spoke to a select audience. It’s always a great privilege and pleasure to meet up with Mary Gordon, founder of Roots of Empathy who was in town with her Special Projects guru Sheri. Mary was as enthralling as ever and she herself was enthralled by fellow Fellow, James Whelton the 20 year old founder of CoderDojo. There are now Dojo’s in 22 countries around the world and, as James pointed out, have even made it to as far flung places as Mayo! It is some achievement for a guy, who as he says himself, still has the everyday angst of the average 20 year old. What James, like all the Ashoka brethren, is not is average. Extraordinary is closer to the mark. As we wound down after the talks, Ashoka staffer Erin Fornoff showed me the article that she had had published in The Irish Times. Please do take the time out to read it. It gives a great perspective on what it’s like to be an American living in Dublin.

Finally, as a hectic week was nearing an end, we went to TV3 on Thursday evening for the launch of their new, state of the art, Sony HD studio. The great and the good were there. The centrepiece of the event was a mock edition of the Vincent Brown show, but the debate was real about the challenges of media in today’s Ireland and the challenges for TV in particular. As Vincent said in his intro piece, the news of TCH, owners of the Examiner and the Sunday Business Post amongst others, entering receivership,  set the scene for the challenges that some media owners are facing through the recession as advertising revenues have collapsed. Some of our friends have lost their jobs. The mood in the studio, was correctly, far more upbeat, and Minister Pat Rabbitte said the €5 million plus investment from TV3 in their new studio couldn’t come at a better time for Ireland as it will hopefully be the catalyst for not only increasing excellence in home produced programming but also open a stream of new revenue to Ireland from overseas.

A week is a long time in media. In some way, my most recent week showed the trials and tribulations of current Irish life. There are some tough stories out there, businesses and the people that work for them suffering, yet on the other hand, there are some really positive stories and opportunities beginning to appear on the Dublin skyline, be it the challenger television station, behaving like a market leader, the continuing surge of the Google machine that acts as the oil for so much of what we all do every day, or the 20 year old from Cork who is teaching the world to code.


– Tim





Advertising, media or marketing – no matter what you call it, is largely perceived as a female industry. Although despite the high number of women working within the industry you might be surprised to learn that less than 10% of agency bosses in Ireland are female. While women do often and deservedly so make it to a senior level there is still a significant imbalance at the very top level, and when women do make it to the top they often face scrutiny. Take Marissa Mayer for example, President and CEO of Yahoo! currently making headlines for her decision to end remote working at Yahoo! She is facing an endless stream of criticism for her decision despite the fact that many at the company had acknowledged it is a real issue. In a memo flagged “proprietary and confidential — do not forward” Mayer (or rather HR Director Jackie Reses) stated;

To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side,” the memo said. “That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.”

meaning that from June employees with existing work-at-home arrangements will be expected to report to the office. People have hit back calling the move arbitrary, out of touch and unfair to parents. It’s worth noting that Mayer herself is a new mother and these offices where people will have to now go include perks such as on site fitness centres and free meals. I feel for Mayer because I firmly believe that had the decision come from a male CEO the backlash wouldn’t have been so severe, so personal and I certainly wouldn’t be talking about it now. As a women Mayer is expected to be understanding and compassionate not making tough decisions which may rock the boat and do the job which was recruited to do.

I think Marissa is to be commended; she has made it to a top level position against the odds. In the results of a study carried out by iReach on behalf of Microsoft Ireland it has been revealed that gender discrimination is still seen as the biggest barrier to workplace promotion among women. The results which have been launched to coincide with Microsoft Ireland’s Fuel your Success event and International Women’s Day (March 8th) revealed that 71% of females compared with just 52% of males feel that there are barriers to promotion in the workplace, the main barriers as identified are gender discrimination among management, demands from home and a lack of support for working mothers. Interestingly the impact of family life on work is regarded as a factor by both genders, 32% of all surveyed cited family commitments as a reason for not taking a promotion. When we look at these figures it’s also important to look at how important is promotion, it’s very easy to assume that making it to the top is the key measure of success but is that really the case?

Seemingly not, according to research carried out by Accenture in order to feel successful in the workplace Irish women want a work life balance. 58% of professional females in Ireland believe that they can have it all, in terms of a successful career and family, compared with 64% of Irish men. So are these women selling themselves short, why don’t more of believe that we too, like the boys, can have it all? In contrast with the report from Microsoft Ireland a more significant 52% of global respondents (compared to the previous figure of 32% Irish respondents) said they would turn down a job due to concerns over how it would impact on family life. So why are other nationalities more concerned about work/life balance that the Irish? Is it that we view success differently? To be honest I don’t really know the answer to that one, but the infographic below might be able to answer some of your questions regarding Irish working women.Working Women Infographic

Despite the imbalances and differences that still exist there has been remarkable progress. Over Christmas I read a book called ‘Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the 60’s and Beyond’ from the ad genius that is Jane Mass. Mass was a creative director at Ogilvy and Mather and Wells Rich Greene, and President at Earle Palmer Brown, she was also Advertising Woman of the Year and is the only female behind the iconic I ❤ NY campaign. Her book reveals what it was like to be a woman in advertising in the Mad Men era of the 1960’s, Her book highlights that there were clear rules for women in advertising, and that she broke rule number one; no working mothers but she lived with plenty of others. One in particular that struck a chord with me was that women could only work on products where it was deemed they had something to contribute. i.e. soaps and toilet cleaners but they couldn’t work on cars because the notion was that they couldn’t drive properly. Finance and alcohol were completely out of bounds; if these rules still existed today simply put I would be out of a job!


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