Friday, August 12, 2011

As RTE's Losses Mount; Is Tubridy Safe?

This week has seen the much trumpeted release for RTE's 2011/2012 schedule of tv programming. The media, press, PR peeps and RTE themselves have trumpeted the depth and breadth of Irish output in the upcoming season. And rightly so. A total of 110 home produced program's will be screened this year, 64 of which are returning shows. One high profile show not returning is The All Ireland Talent Show, which always seemed like a low rent X-Factor. Unfortunately it's axing could unleash something much worse on the nation, something we would have to endure for seven long years.

Joking aside RTE have made other positive headlines of late. They have delivered 48 of the 50 most watched TV shows so far in 2011, and 19 of the top 20 radio shows. The impressive performance in Radio is largely driven by RTE Radio One which has 8 of the top 10 shows in the country. 2fm has remained largely inconsistent, shedding 0.5% of its audience in the latest JNLR figures, keeping it in third place behind Today FM. Part of this loss can be put down to former Twitter user, and BBC Radio 2 weekend host, Ryan Tubridy's continued decline in listenership for his midweek show. Although he has lost 110,000 listeners in a year, the show is apparently safe, with a production team shake up hoping to steady the ship.

This all masks the big elephant in the room for RTE, even with an increased Tubridy listenership the station is facing massive losses. The last two years have seen losses of €16.5 million in 2009 and €4.7 million in 2010. The wages of it's biggest stars have come under threat too. The station doesn't release current salaries but in 2008 Pat Kenny was paid €950,976 in 2008, Marian Finucane received €570,000. and Ryan Tubridy earned €533,000. This was when Kenny hosted the Late Late, a nixer now filled by Ryan Tubridy, so you can expect 'Tubs' to be on a similarly inflated figure now. With Kenny no longer hosting the Late Late, but now his own current affairs show The Frontline one wonders how much of a salary cut he suffered in the switch.

This is big money at a time when staff at the station are subject to further losses and uncertainty. Pat Rabbitte, the communications minister, has said the broadcaster must reign in its expenditure saying 

"RTE can't go on incurring the kind of annual deficit that it is incurring and their costs simply have to be brought under control"
Of the inflated salaries he has said

"As far as the Government is concerned, we expect those earning most to contribute most to the savings programme."
But is all this just fluster on the part of the Minister?

Amongst all this to-ing and fro-ing Tub's has his eye on the bigger picture by snaggging himself a permanent to the big boys at the BBC. A station who could surely pay his wages and offer him a bigger profile. Of course this could be a conspiracy theory, a well work technique when contract negotiations are upcoming. With a BBC offer in his pocket Tub's would surely take it and not use it as leverage to remain on an artificially high salary at RTE? But the big question is would RTE, in it's weakened state, actually call his bluff?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tayto Set for World Domination?

I remember sitting in a Bolivian hostel bar in January 2008, there was a visible air of excitement amongst the contingent of Irish residents. Person after person walked into the bar asking 'Has it arrived yet?'. The hostel was owned by an Irishman, and, spotting an opportunity to meet his customers needs he had arranged a 'care' package of Irish staples to be sent from Tipparary to La Paz. The box was packed with Barry's Tea and Tayto, a real taste of home many hadn't had in months. Of course the non-Irish residents didn't really understand our excitement for such basic products, at highly inflated prices (Tayto sold at 25 Boliviano's - 2.50 euros), or why they sold out in a matter of hours.

But for many Tayto is as Irish as Guinness, or U2, albeit much less known. However that might be about to change as Largo Foods, owners of the Tayto brand, sold a 25% stake in the business to raise capital. Part of the proceeds will go to pay debt owed by the company, but the funds will also open up expansion opportunities in Europe, especially the UK and Germany, and China.

Largo Foods bought Tayto in 2006 and have reinforced the brands iconic status through inventive marketing strategies. These have included a best selling book (Mr Tayto: The Man Inside the Jacket) and the recently opened Tayto Park, positioning Mr Tayto as Irelands answer to Mickey Mouse and the rest of the Disney theme-park crew.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the world takes to the brand, and its intrinsic Irishness should play an important role, seeing how we were world renowned for spuds! For now at least, with no plans to enter the much sought after Bolivian market, those care packages will have to keep making their way across the world.

Monday, July 18, 2011 4th Most Visited Website in Ireland, the online classifieds website has seen some staggering growth in the last two years. In 2010 they surpassed 1 million unique visitors per month and in May they reached 2 million unique's per month. Just last week the Wexford based business announced on their blog they now had the 4th biggest website in terms of page views. You may not win prizes for coming 4th, but when you consider the only websites above them are International internet heavy weights Facebook, Youtube and Google then that is cause for celebration!

Getting Your Business Online

The success of only underlines the importance the internet can play in promoting your business online. may have been a web only business, but their type of service has existed offline for decades, what have done is produce the best all round service in order to survive in a competitive marketplace. getting a business online is no longer costly or difficult. Google, Blacknight, An Post and the City and County Enterprise Boards have a fantastic free resource for businesses looking to get online.

Getting Your Business Online provides a free and easy to update website, a free domain for a year, free 100euro Google Adwords trial plus lots of tips and resources.

If your not online yet, what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What you see is what you get!

Image by gladiolabean

How brilliant are these logos?!
From the fantastic - (a group of guys down in Cork) website, check it out!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ireland's royally magic beans

Image by gem_106

With a royal wedding in mere weeks and the world's media on the brink of hysteria, everything 'Kate & Wills' related seems to be turning to gold.
Whether it be royal merchandise or TV specials, the world is bracing itself for Britain's big day.
A story came across our desks here at Ireland and we couldn't help but giggle, relishing in the fun escapism of the article!

A British couple came across a jelly bean which had a startling resemblance to the future Queen of England Kate Middleton. Whilst digging into a tub of beans from The Jelly Bean Factory (an Irish brand and company) they found the image and are now hoping to sell it on E-Bay.
In the media frenzy running up to the Royal Wedding, which takes place in less than 2 weeks, newspapers will stop at nothing to find a story which will capture the publics imagination. Do you think that this story is real?Have you ever came across an iamge in a tub of The Jelly Bean Factory beans?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Education in Ireland - a brand in itself!

Image by Arcadia Abroad

Enterprise Ireland are aiming to double the number of international students studying in the Irish higher education system by 2015.
"Education in Ireland", will promote the combined value of a third level education and the English language to foreign students, which is currently worth €900m to our struggling economy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Irish Hypermarket . . .

A thought came to mind - with all the Tesco price cuts and general domination of our grocery spend, is it time for a new Irish super chain (a super cheap Irish style Aldi)? Maybe Dunnes, Superquinn, Supervalu could join forces, thoughts?!

In light of recent events, here is a funny wee vid.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Trying to pull the wool over our eyes

Image by Craig murphy

I wasn't in the least bit shocked when news leaked that Tesco's so called 'price cuts' were nothing more than a cheap ploy to cash in on the Irish consumer.
Can we be so easily duped? Some might say yes.
However, what will this do to Tesco's already tarnished reputation and what affects could this have on the Irish brands on sale on Tesco shelves across the land?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Social media cashing in on Mother's day

Image by Zhuo

Mother's day is this weekend (Sunday to be precise)and while many will be out buying last minute bouquets and gift vouchers aplenty, the newest trend to hit the Irish market is : Social media. Yep, you heard right.
The hottest way to tell mum you love her this year is going viral.

Busy sons and daughters across Ireland are more likely to post a Facebook message rather than send a Mother’s Day card this weekend.

How many of you will send an e-card rather than an actual card to your dear mum?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Newsflash! Yo-Yo Tesco pricing stirs up suspicion

Tesco seem to be up to their old tricks again, hiking up prices and lowering them in time just for 'Sales'.
This is odd, or is it?