Tania Banotti has quit as chief executive of the Institute of Advertising Practitioners of Ireland (IAPI) to become director of Creative Ireland, the Government’s five-year plan around local authorities giving young people access to learning music, drama, art and coding. She replaces John Concannon, who now heads up the Taoiseach’s Strategic Communications Unit (SCU).
Banotti took on the IAPI job in May 2012. She had been chief executive of Theatre Forum Ireland since 2003 where she helped grow the organisation as the voice for the country’s performing arts. At IAPI, she is widely credited with creating a new template for agencies marked by a host of new initiatives, workshops and a drive for new institute members.
She was also at the forefront of urging IAPI members to sign up to the Cannes festival.
As well as a major revamp of Adfx, Banotti launched the Doyenne award to highlight the need to position more women in senior management roles and promote young talented females in agencies. The then IAPI president and Dentsu Aegis Ireland boss Liam McDonnell said Banotti’s appointment marked a change for IAPI members and the industry.
“The IAPI board looked for someone with outstanding leadership credentials and who can credibly represent us,” McDonnell said. McDonnell added that Banotti’s ability to create a common sense of purpose and shared goals among diverse stakeholders was key to her appointment. So too was her media background and experience as a lobbyist.
Banotti’s background also includes the founding of Screen Producers Ireland (SPI), where she was chief executive, and the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA). She studied politics and economics in TCD and undertook a masters in film and television in DCU. She is a daughter of former Fine Gael MEP Mary Banotti and a niece of ex-FG government minister Nora Owen.
Speaking at the launch of Creative Ireland in the refurbished National Gallery, the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the aim of the new body was to place culture at the centre of Irish people’s lives. It would aim to build on the legacy of the Ireland 2016 centenary programme which Concannon directed, working to the then Minister for the Arts, Heather Humphreys.
The plan included a pilot scheme to help self-employed artists who applied for Job Seekers Allowance and the new annual cultural day on Easter Monday. A culture team for every local authority is also part of the remit, along with an investment plan for cultural and heritage bodies and for developing Ireland as a worldwide hub for film, TV drama and animation.
For details on Creative Ireland’s five pillars go to creative.ireland.ie/en/about
Tania Banotti is pictured with Aidan Greene, former IAPI president and deputy CEO at Core