IAPI bestows honours with new fellowships

Four executives have been honoured for their contribution to Irish advertising with fellowship certs presented by the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) to Orlaith Blaney, Alan Cox, Patrick Hickey and the late Eoghan Nolan. Blaney was honoured for her work in charge of McCann Dublin. She is currently director of corporate affairs at Irish Water.

Alan Cox was founder and up to recently the chief executive at Core. He is about to start up his own business away from the industry. Patrick Hickey was founder and CEO at Rothco, part of Accenture Song. He is now the executive chair at Mobility Mojo. Eoghan Nolan, who sadly died last year, was widely regarded as one of Ireland’s finest copywriters.

“It has been five years since IAPI have awarded fellows of the industry, so we’re delighted to recognise this extraordinary group of individuals who have, over the past couple of decades, raised the bar for the entire industry,” Sean Hynes, IAPI president and co-founder and director of Bonfire, said while presenting the fellowships at a special ceremony.


The IAPI fellowship is awarded to those who have shown a long-term commitment and ability to work tirelessly for Irish advertising. At 32, Orlaith Blaney became managing director of McCann Erickson, making her the youngest person to lead an international agency in Ireland – an extraordinary feat at a time when Irish advertising had so few female leaders.

Blaney helped pave the way for many women in advertising and has championed gender equality in business throughout her career. She served on the IAPI board for 13 years and was only the institute’s second female president when appointed in 2014.  The IAPI Doyenne Award was established during her presidency, focusing on female leaders for the first time.

She was former secretary of the International Women’s Forum, on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Executive Network, a former mentor for the Women Empowering Women programme and the IMI 30 Per Cent Club Programme. She was delighted and privileged to be recognised by IAPI in this way and said that advertising would remain her first love.

Alan Cox (pictured) was one of adland’s most widely recognised and admired leaders in recent years, dedicated to elevating industry standards and championing the need for better and further education in marketing. He co-authored Marketing Multiplied with Jim Power and Chris Johns in 2017 and spoke out about the value of advertising to the Irish economy.

He was named the most trusted leader in Ireland by the Great Place to Work initiative in 2013, the only advertising  boss to ever assume such an accolade. Cox was always interested in the opinion of others and is a superb listener. At Rothco, Patrick Hickey set the standard for Irish advertising by winning international business and with a heavy focus on Cannes Lions.

Hickey set his ambitions outside of the Irish market and on the need to be brave to achieve business goals. The decision by Rothco directors in 2001 to turn their attention to higher value brand work and move away from promotions was the start of the agency’s transformation, which culminated in global consulting group Accenture buying it out in 2018.

The late Eoghan Nolan (above) was among Ireland’s foremost creative directors and copywriters before his untimely death in February last year. He was a board member of IAPI and was part of the team that steered ICAD back on track in the late 1990’s when it was in real danger of dissolving. He made time for everyone, but particularly emerging creatives.

He fostered and introduced a huge amount of new talent and lectured at TU Dublin for five years. He was a generous, personable, intelligent and self-effacing sounding board for anyone who approached him. He developed and hosted a free-to-view series called Chops in which various individuals in the creative industry spoke candidly about their lives and work.

Among his very many creative achievements, he also won Ireland’s first ever D&AD Pencil. Lynne Tracey, former IAPI president and herself a fellow of the institute, accepted the award on behalf of Eoghan Nolan’s family. Tracey and Nolan worked together at McCann’s. The latest fellows join the likes of John Fanning, Chris Cawley, Des O’Meara and Donald Helme.

Pictured top are two of IAPI’s four new fellows, Patrick Hickey and Orlaith Blaney  

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