April 2017: Media and Marketing Review


Here's a look back on the media and marketing news over the last month.




March/April TV Viewership

March was another difficult month across the board with falling ratings in all key audiences year on year. Again, we saw the highest fall in the young audiences, with Adults 15-34 down 26% and Adults 25-44 down 18%, along with continual decline in Housekeepers with Kids (-10%) and Adults (-7%).

Overall in Q1, TV viewership fell against the key demographics:




Q1 Impacts YoY










In March, RTE bid farewell to the 6 Nations as TV3 acquired the rights. From 2017, TV3 will be the home of 6 Nations coverage in what will be a big loss to the national broadcaster. The match between Wales and Ireland on Friday 10th March had an audience of 741,000 Adults and was the top rating programme in March, followed closely by Ireland v England which brought in 683,000 viewers. Ireland’s World Cup Qualifier against Wales was also in the top 5 programmes of the month, coming in with 581,000 views for Adults and rounding off a strong month for live sporting events. In other programming news, The Late Late Show, Room to Improve and Dancing with the Stars all continued to perform well.

The decline in the young audiences persisted in March with Adults 1534 down almost 16% and Adults 2544 down 7% on last year. Broad Adults and Housekeepers with Kids were the least impacted demographics on RTE with both coming in at -3% on last year.

TV3 saw ratings down on all main audiences in March, although at a less severe rate than last month. Broad Adults fell almost 6% and HW+CH almost 5%. Adults 15-34 dropped by 19% and Adults 25-44 by 12%. The soaps continue to bring in reliable numbers and remain the top rating programmes across Virgin Media Group, while the Champions League coverage on TV3 has also continued to rate well as we approach the latter stages of the tournament. The quarter finals took place in April with Juventus playing against Barcelona (218,000) and Leicester City facing Atletico Madrid (174,000). Outside of the old reliable soaps and live sport, Gogglebox regularly pulled in over 170,000 each week.

TG4 actually had increasing ratings across the board in February, and this continued into March, with Housekeepers with Kids and Adults 2544 both seeing an upturn. However, broad Adults and Adults 1534 fell 3% and 26% respectively. Yet again it was live sport – GAA and Pro 12 Rugby – that brought in the most ratings. Dublin v Kerry in the league final was the highest rating spot, doing 327,000 for Adults in a massive rating spot for the station.  

Not much to note over on Sky Media in March, or April. The young audiences – Adults 15-34 and Ads 25-44 – both fell by over 20% for the second month in a row.  We also saw a large drop of 13% for Adults and 17% for Housekeepers with Kids. Manchester United played Chelsea in the Premier League in April in what was the highest rating sporting event of the month at 57,000 viewers. The only programme that pulled in more viewers than this was the latest episode of Modern Family which had an audience of 64,000 Adults.

In April, Sky Media launched two new stations – Drama and Really. This takes the number of channels available to advertisers on Sky to 35. Drama shows a mix of classic and modern drama series, while Really primarily shows documentaries, crime stories and lifestyle-oriented programmes. It is too soon to tell if these channels will positively impact Sky’s delivery.

In April, C4 saw all audiences drop dramatically from 2016. This comes on the back of a poor February performance. Housekeepers with Kids fell 24% and Adults fell 15%. In the young audience categories, Adults 1534 fell 17% while Adults 2544 fell 30%. Gogglebox has proven to be their best rating show across March/April, regularly pulling in 40,000-50,000 Adults.

C4 Ulster continued to struggle in March with ratings down considerably across all audiences (between 20%-30%). UTV NI, however, experienced somewhat of an upturn in March, with the young audiences and Housekeepers with Kids all seeing an increase in ratings compared to the same time last year.



New OOH Campaign for Hop House 13



As rivalry between the beer behemoths and craft brewers rolls on, Diageo has launched a new TV and Out of Home campaign for Guinness Hop House 13. Created by AMV BBDO in London, with media by Carat Ireland, the ads again home in on the lager’s authentic nature with its ‘More Taste, More Character’ catch-cry. Pubs that show up in the ads include John Kavanagh’s, aka ‘The Gravediggers’, in Glasnevin, Brennan’s in Bundoran, Co Donegal and McCarthys in Fethard, Co Tipperary. Sam’s Barbers in Temple Bar also gets in on the act.


Posterscope Inks Deal With Smart City Tech Experts, The Digit Group

Posterscope has signed a global partnership with The Digit Group, a company founded by architects and urban planners specialising in smart city technologies. The partnership will grant Posterscope early access to the technology developed by TDG, and in turn, will work with TDG to build technologies that will work synergistically with advertising. In future, Posterscope will help TDG manage any ad inventory generated.

“Architects and urban planners design and build cities, but marketers bring them to life,” Normand Madden, global director, media and brand innovation said. “It’s important for us to have a good global partner to help develop and implement programmes that tap the full potential of the technologies developed for our smart cities.”

‘Smart city’ is a designation given to a city that uses technology to enhance the quality and performance of urban services such as energy, transportation, utilities, security, communication, leisure and even food production in order to reduce resource consumption, wastage and overall costs.

“The global smart cities economy is going to hit an estimated $1.4tn [£1.09bn] by 2020, as population migration towards cities continues,” Posterscope’s head of futures, Nick Halas said. “This partnership is essential in allowing us to help clients and brands manoeuvre and find a pathway to be involved in the exciting opportunities that these smart cities will bring to their citizens.”

On Posterscope’s side, Halas will co-lead the partnership along with head of platforms and partners, Asia-Pacific, Ben Milne, while Madden will direct the partnership for TDG. The tech being developed by TDG that Posterscope could work with includes renewable energy sources, self-driving electric buses, self-driving electric pods, navigation and entertainment platforms like virtual and augmented reality.

Some of the ways brands could work with the self-driving buses, Madden explained, includes AR, 3D displays, holograms and even branded lighting interiors. “We’re way beyond slapping an ad on the inside of a bus, or popping a skin on the outside.” As the buses are electric, they will charge each time they dock at bus shelters. “So the bus shelters too are part of the equation and represent opportunities for brands.”

In terms of renewable energy, TDG is developing piezoelectric panels that are capable of generating electricity from kinetic energy or friction. “These panels could be installed, for example, under the floors of malls, or pedestrian sidewalks and people walking on them would generate electricity,” Madden said. “Think of the opportunities for fitness apps such as Nike+. It would be possible to track, not only how much exercise you’ve had, but how much green energy you’ve generated.”

TDG has projects underway in China, Southeast Asia, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and the US.



IMRO Replaces PPI at the Irish Radio Awards

IMRO is the new title sponsor for the Irish Radio Awards 2017, replacing a long-standing agreement with PPI.

The Irish Music Rights Organisation will help recognise the achievements of Irish radio industry personnel both on-air and behind the scenes at the “IMRO Radio Awards” at the Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny on Friday, October 6th 2017.

In addition to the Outstanding Achievement Award and the IMRO Radio Awards Hall of Fame inductees, 37 awards will be handed out on the night in what has become one of the highlights of the Irish radio calendar. IMRO has confirmed it will sponsor the Awards for the next five years. The BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) has also confirmed that it will continue its support for the Awards.


Revised Communications Code Released by BAI

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has launched its revised General Commercial Communications Code.

It sets out the rules that Irish radio and television stations must comply with when it comes to airing advertising, sponsorship, product placement and other forms of commercial communications.

The revised Code will come into effect on 1st June 2017. It was developed by the BAI following a statutory review of the current Code and a public consultation on a revised draft. Updates made in this latest revision include rules regarding commercial communications for financial services and products; and the provision of greater clarity on the distinction between sponsorship and product placement.

Speaking at the launch of the revised General Commercial Communications Code, Professor Pauric Travers, Chairperson of the BAI, said: “During the public consultation undertaken as part of the statutory review process, the BAI received valuable feedback from a range of stakeholders in the broadcasting sector as well as from other business representatives, and much of this is reflected in the final version of the Code, which is being launched today. While the broadcasting landscape is constantly evolving, the BAI is satisfied that the Code is sufficiently robust to provide direction and clarity to broadcasters over the coming years.”

Under the revised Code, mandatory regulatory statements in radio advertisements for financial services and products are excluded from the calculation of advertising minutage, the number of minutes broadcasters are permitted to devote to advertising within any hour. The Code also clearly defines the difference between product placement and sponsorship: if a product or service is built into the action of the programme, it is product placement; if sponsor announcements or references are shown during a programme but are not part of the plot or narrative of the programme, they qualify as sponsorship.

BAI Chief Executive, Michael O’Keeffe said: “The aim of the revised Code is to give the public the confidence that commercial communications on television and radio are legal, decent, honest, truthful, and protect their interests. It is also intended to provide greater clarity and certainty for Irish broadcasters on the standards that they should apply.”


Who’s on the Move?

Ray Foley & Jason Coughlan for Red FM

Former 98FM and Today FM presenter Ray Foley is joining Jason Coughlan as the new co-presenter of Breakfast on Cork’s Red FM. Ray replaces KC who left to join cross-town rival 96FM to host the breakfast show.

“Breakfast with Ray & Jay” was announced at a special celebration event with Irish Rugby legend Ronan O’Gara and Cork music artists Brian Deady and Stephanie Rainey to mark the 3rd anniversary of Cork’s Red FM relaunch.

Speaking at the announcement Ray Foley said: “I’m really excited about moving to Cork to present on Red FM which is one of the best radio stations in the country and I think I will have a lot of fun presenting alongside Jay who is a very funny guy.”


Dee Leaves Marty at Breakfast at Radio NOVA ​

New parents Dee and Marty – breakfast show hosts on NOVA – are to end their on-air partnership after the birth of their daughter.

Dee is back after six months maternity, and Marty has just completed two weeks paternity, but now Dee announced on-air that she is, “with a heavy heart, saying goodbye to Morning Glory, and a very happy heart that I’m doing it for the best reason ever which is my daughter.

“I have to say massive thanks to our boss Kevin and all the powers that be who aren’t telling me to just shut the door on my way out.”

Dee is staying with the station – from April 10th she’s heading back to the evening show, playing music from the 80s and 90s from 7pm weekdays.



Google to Support Addressable and Linear TV Ad Buys On DBM

Google is rolling out advanced TV buying capabilities on its DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) platform, via its Google Fiber service, by offering Addressable and Linear inventory.

The shift is part of Google’s long-term plan to move into the TV buying space, and although currently behind DSPs such as TubeMogul (Adobe), DataXu and The Trade Desk who are offering similar services, it indicates a willingness, or stubbornness, on Google’s part to recommit itself to the TV ad buying space.

It follows the cessation of the Google TV Ads programme, which was wound down in 2012, where advertisers could buy TV spots via Adwords. In an effort to avoid past mistakes, Google will look to utilise DBM’s vast array of reporting metrics and couple these with new insights, offering brands and agencies impact-based metrics such as incremental lift, in an effort to move away from simple impression and reach insights.

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