NewsBrands Engage Conference ’21

Discussions regarding the Future of News Publishing, role of Big Tech, post cookie advertising, and new newsbrands advertising effectiveness research, among the highlights of the NewsBrands Engage virtual conference

Over 300 marketers, planners, strategists, journalists, and publishers convened for the NewsBrands Engage virtual conference on Wednesday May 5th, for a morning of stimulating discussion, inspiration, and debate regarding the news publishing industry.

Speaking about the event, NewsBrands Ireland CEO Ann Marie Lenihan, said:

“This landmark conference for the media industry has come at a momentous time for news publishers globally and nationally. The digital advertising eco system is coming under increasing scrutiny in terms of regulation, privacy, and brand safety. Context is becoming increasingly important to advertisers and the event discussions demonstrated news publishers’ key virtues of effectiveness, engagement, influence, and trust and how they continue to be a powerful advertising medium in a multi-channel world.”

Presented by Adrian Weckler and Roisin Ingle, some of the conference highlights were:

Future of News: NewsBrands Ireland Chairman Colm O’ Reilly, Georgia Kate Schubert, Head of Public Affairs News Corp Australia, and Wout Van Wijk, Director News Media Europe, spoke about how news publishers are taking on Big Tech for fair remuneration of news publisher content.  Colm O’ Reilly spoke about the need for a ‘level playing field’ with the tech platforms and the important role the Future of Media Commission and the government have to play in this.

New research from world renowned marketing effectiveness expert Peter Field which demonstrated how multi-platform news brands are delivering long terms business effects for brands. Together with NewsWorks Insight Director Denise Turner, Peter presented the findings from the IPA Databank study. The study analysed  182 advertising campaigns and found that news brands are having a significant impact on key business drivers such as market share, pricing and profit.

Marketing Managers Tara Clifford from Musgraves and Jana Solovjoa from Peugeot Ireland spoke about how they use news brands print and digital platforms to communicate their message.

Tara talked about how important trust and quality are to the SuperValu brand and why it is important to advertise on trusted news brands platforms. She went on to discuss their brand strategy and need to pivot at the onset of Covid-19. Noting that record audiences were consuming news during the pandemic, SuperValu used full page ads to deliver impactful messages to reassure and inspire their customers.

Jana spoke about Peugeot’s sponsorship of The Irish Times Summer and Winter Nights online festivals. She described the challenge of reaching their audience during the pandemic and how the virtual festival was an innovative initiative, very well timed and a perfect match for their ABC1 audience. Post campaign research found that 72% of attendees had a more positive view of Peugeot following the events and 83% recalled that Peugeot was the festival sponsor.

A discussion on what does the demise of cookies means for publishers and advertisers  featured Ciaran O’ Kane, CEO Wire Corp, Helen Beecher, Head of Digital, OMD, and David Fogarty, Digital Investment Director, Core

The conversation highlighted that context, and first party data will be of growing importance to advertisers and that this presents an opportunity for premium news publishers to come together to offer a ‘brand safe, walled garden’ for advertisers.

The Story of a Generation – how news publishers covered Covid:  Sunday Independent Editor Alan English, Irish Examiner Political Correspondent Aoife Moore, and Irish Daily Mail Political Correspondent Craig Hughes talked about how important it is to present facts in an era of fake news and explained why there will always be a need for quality journalism. Aoife and Craig gave the audience the inside scoop on how they broke the GolfGate and Beacon Hospital vaccine scandal news stories which went on to have massive repercussions at the highest levels. These stories went on to dominate the news agenda on radio and TV as well as trending on social media platforms for weeks.

A recording of the above discussions will shortly be available on