Moran on driving adland’s potential

As I begin my term as president of the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI), I’d like to set out my focus for the next two years. While it will be challenging, IAPI aims to use what we have learned from the successes of other creative sectors and advocate for increased government recognition and investment. I believe that the institute is critical in highlighting the role of the ad industry in driving growth in Ireland.

Warc recently stated that the Irish advertising sector contributes €1.7 billion to the Irish economy. Yet only 16 per cent of current business for Irish advertising agencies comes from international clients. The growth opportunity is enormous. When you compare this to our global counterparts, such as New Zealand, it prompts us to have a deeper sense of pride and ambition within the Irish advertising community in pursuing global work.

Creative development 

Ireland excels across film, animation, gaming, and fashion. I was at an AI conference recently, where ‘Ireland is hot right now’ was celebrated. While we punch well above our weight in many creative fields, the perception doesn’t extend enough to our advertising industry – despite Irish agencies winning prestigious awards for global campaigns, not least Publicis for Heineken, TBWA for Jameson, and Droga5 for Lego.

It shows the depth of talent and creative potential in Ireland’s adland. This talent is further evidenced by the remarkable achievements of Irish advertising professionals: to name but a few, Rory Gallery was named global planner of the year and won a grand prix at the Cannes Lions, while Mark Shanley and Paddy Treacy were honoured with a titanium Lion, which is regarded as one of the most esteemed awards in world advertising.


Ireland’s creative industries have outpaced all other EU member states in growth from 2013 to 2017, especially in audiovisual activities. The surge reflects the sector’s growing influence and potential. This progress underlines the capacity to drive substantial economic value and international acclaim.

Notably, the Irish film industry has seen remarkable growth, transitioning from a local to a global force. This evolution, powered by dedication, investment and the Film Relief tax credit, which was only recently improved, with finance minister Michael McGrath saying the move was intended to “strengthen both the Irish indigenous creative sector and lead to more international producers bringing productions to Ireland”.

Film producer Alan Moloney recently said: “I don’t think we’ve ever been in a better place, and it’s only going to get stronger… It’s moved from a cottage industry into a proper industry, and I think we have a meaningful business on our hands, and it’s growing and developing all the time”. The gaming sector has also begun to unlock its true potential with the staging of major conferences, tax credits and overseas investments.


Enterprise Ireland’s dedication to the creative industries reflects the immense potential they see in us—the potential to attract international business, elevate our creative output, and assert ourselves on the global stage. And it’s encouraging to see that the Programme for Government ‘Digital Creative Industries Roadmap 2024–26’ now recognises the significant economic opportunity the creative industries present.

So my focus over the next two years, working closely with IAPI chief executive Charley Stoney, and the institute’s board, is to amplify the Irish advertising industry’s voice, advocating for a redefined perception of Ireland as a formidable player in global advertising. The tangible successes of the other creative fields, which have shown remarkable growth and appeal internationally, demonstrate what can be achieved in the future.


IAPI aims to draw on the successes and learnings of other creative sectors and advocate for more government recognition, investment and support. We plan to showcase Ireland as a centre of creative excellence and, in doing so, stimulate growth and innovation across all creative sectors. Success will be when the Irish advertising industry is recognised and valued for its economic role and celebrated for its creativity, innovation and global impact.

Abi Moran is IAPI president and CEO of Folk VML;




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