This November we are holding an election for three vacancies on our eleven member board as Shenda Loughnane and Robert McDermott reach the end of their time on the board and we expand the board to include an additional member.

The key skillsets needed on the IAPI Board for the next 3 years are:

  • Agency Leader
  • Communications Specialist
  • Treasurer

You can read more about each role here.

We are thrilled to say that 7 nominations have been received and the nominees election pitches are listed below.

Nominee Details
Nominee Details

The seven nominees putting themselves forward for MD vote to the Board are:

  • Anna Doyle, Board Director, Starcom (Agency Leader)
  • Chris Nolan, Managing Director, Zenith (Agency Leader)
  • Ed Ling, Chief Growth & Operations Officer, MediaCom Ireland (Agency Leader)
  • Emma Williams, Director, Edelman (Communications Specialist)
  • Finian Murphy, Marketing Director, Core (Communications Specialist)
  • Helen Stanley, Finance Business Partner, Core (Treasurer)
  • Neal Davies, CEO, BBDO Dublin (Agency Leader)

This year, we are asking each member agency to vote for their preferred candidates for each of the 3 vacancies from the above nominees. Ballot papers will be issued to each agency by IAPI CEO Charley Stoney on 12 November. Ballot papers must be received by 22 November and the results will be announced at the IAPI AGM on 24 November.

We wish them all the very best of luck.

Anna Doyle
Anna Doyle

Title: Board Director

Company: Starcom

Hello. My name is Anna Doyle and I have been on the Board of Starcom for the past seven years leading our wonderful people alongside my equally wonderful board members. I have been working in the Marketing Communications industry for the last 17 years and it has been and continues to be a privilege. Not many of us get to wake up each working day and be excited about what it might bring, every day is different good and bad, but that’s what makes it very special. I have had the pleasure of leading some of our Nation’s most iconic global brands such as Heineken, Diageo, Kellogg’s, Cadbury’s, Lindt & Sprungli, Virgin Media (formally UPC), Kraft Heinz and not to mention our Country’s most prominent heritage brands An Post, Post Insurance, Dunnes Stores, The HSE, C&C and Bulmers Ireland. Not only have I been able to share in the commercial highs and lows with all of our clients, but I have also been able to bring them on an Irish communications journey that has resulted in numerous accolades for most and one that stands out for me is the recent Effie’s win for Heineken Zero not to mention bringing home the ADFX Grand Prix in 2016. These are just two stand out moments of many over the 17 years and I hope many more to come.

However, nothing shines more than the people I have worked with across all backgrounds from media to marketing, creative, experiential, PR, sales, data, finance, and research. Every one of them has helped to build, imprint, and shape my thought processes, my media and marketing journey, my career and that I am very grateful for.

I would like to give back to the industry in the same way it has invested in me over the years.

Election Pitch: What makes me so different, unique, or special? I ask myself this question almost every day – “The So What” question - and the answer is always the same – I am none of these things, and all these things at times, it just varies from day to day. We All Are.

Most of us are afraid that we don’t have a story to tell. We fear failure, we fear challenge, we fear change and we are absolutely scared of not achieving our dreams. But what time teaches us is that fear is normal, fear is good and when we lean into it, we come out the other side feeling stronger. Fear makes us better at what we do, better managers, better leaders, better supports so we need to embrace it not run from it.

If someone had told me that 17 years ago, I often wonder, would I have been braver, would I have made different decisions or would I have even listened back then? The answer is maybe but one thing is for certain, I would have been more informed, and information is the key to better decision making. This is what I would hope to contribute to the industry as an IAPI Board member – my stories, my experiences, my key learnings, and the skills that got me through day to day – The good, the bad and the ugly.

We don’t always win, but we are always learning. I am not so sure that many of our emerging marketeers and future communications leaders are in fact aware that it is okay not to win, it is okay to feel fear and embrace it and that this very special industry is more than just one long pitch.

Another area close to my heart that I would love to tackle is parenthood in our industry. While we certainly have made big leaps in progressing with support for working parents. I can of course only speak from a media perspective and within Core. However, one thing I still notice and not just in media but across clients and media owners is how many new parents feel with coping with the demands from working full time and being a caring, loving, protective parent and what saddens me is knowing many that have decided to take a step back and indeed others have bowed out of the industry for several years. It is a heavy decision for any person to feel they have to make and it stems across all industries – We are not alone on this subject matter. I would like to lean into this a bit more and see how better we can as an industry support each other whatever decision around parenting that is made and ensuring enough of our colleagues are informed to make the right decision for them at any given time.

So, when I ask that question again; what makes me different, unique, or special, what I now understand to be unique or indeed special is not so different afterall, it is simply to be human and to share those human experiences with everyone.

One of my favourite quotes noted above from Simon Sinek – What’s the point in having a belly if there’s no fire in it. Wake up, drink your passion, light a match and get to work!”

I love this quote and it is why I feel now is the time to give back to the industry through IAPI, afterall, what is the point in having quite a bit of information if I don’t share it!

Chris Nolan
Chris Nolan

Title: Managing Director

Company: Zenith

I’ve been in media for 28 years (yikes). I started in the UK buying TV spots in Zenith before being seconded to Zenith in Dublin for 6 months in 2001. Three kids and two dogs later I don’t think I’m moving anywhere.

In that time I’ve worked in 3 different agencies – promiscuous by other industry standards but long term loyalty for advertising – and I spent 6 years working client side in an international role managing media, creative and digital.

It is my client-side experience, combined with re-joining the industry in a business leadership role, that suddenly gave me clarity around so many of the issues our industry faces and how we are not always approaching them in the right way. If we have learnt anything from Trump and Brexit votes it is that people don’t like to be told they’re wrong. They want people to see things from their point of view and then may be open to some alternative approaches.

I believe we need to take this approach on IAPI’s strategic objectives for the coming year - growth, talent, and sustainability.

Growth and, far more importantly, profitable growth is undeniably the top priority for all agency leads. We all know from every response to every client that there are only two ways to grow – grow the category, or grow market share. I want to work with IAPI to focus entirely on growing the category – then our agencies can focus on growing their market share.

And we can’t grow without attracting, retaining, and developing talent that shines in any room they’re in (or on the screen it’s on), impresses people with their knowledge, excites people with their ideas, and builds trust with their actions. Our clients buy people from us - we don’t sell media, and we don’t sell TV ads. We sell people who have genius ideas and negotiate brilliantly (and lots of other cool shit). So let’s get everyone really good at it, and make sure people appreciate how good they are.

And finally, but by no means least, sustainability. I believe this can no longer be up to individuals to do. We must do this as an industry, it should not be a competitive advantage for anyone. If anyone has cracked a plan for this they should just share it with everyone right now. If they haven’t, then lets just get heads together and crack one – and not small ideas in the right direction, let’s look at the end goal and work back until we get to what we need to do.

I am, by nature, an opinionated person and have become more and more positive with my opinions over the years leading to being extremely solution focused. I want to end with a quote stolen from a webinar Charley shared on negotiating with procurement (very insightful, go watch it) - “Pessimists are usually right, and optimists are usually wrong, but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists.” Let’s shoot for the stars!

Ed Ling
Ed Ling

Title: Chief Growth and Operations Officer

Company: Mediacom Ireland


  • Chief Growth & Operations Officer, MediaCom Ireland
  • Managing Director, Isobar Ireland
  • Chief Media Officer, UK & International, DigitasLBi
  • Managing Director, Global Solutions, MEC
  • Founder, Analogfolk
  • Strategy Director, i-level
  • Digital Planner & Buyer, BMP
  • Various role, MediaVest

Industry involvement

  • Member of IAPI Media Council
  • Member of JICIMS
  • Vice-Chair of IPA Digital Group
  • Member of IPA Value for Advertising Group
  • Member of IPA Strategy Group
  • Member of Google Global Agency Leadership Council

Election Pitch: I love this Industry. I've spent over 25 years enjoying its shifting shape, its frequent innovations and its continuously fresh challenges. As someone who has worked both in Ireland and internationally at the intersection of media, creative and technology disciplines I am always proud of the value that great marketing brings to both business and society as a whole.

As an industry in Ireland we do have challenges. In order to have a vibrant and sustainable future we need to encourage new talent into the sector, develop, and more importantly retain it. We also need to do more to demonstrate the value we bring to our clients, not just in the work but in the thinking around the bigger issues their businesses face. And we need to recognise the role our industry plays in addressing some of the societal issues we face. In relation to issues such as sustainability and diversity and inclusion I truly believe that marketing can be a strong force for good.

I am passionate and committed to our industry and believe that we are at our best when we come together. Together we can make Ireland a centre of excellence to the wider marketing community. IAPI is a fantastic platform in which to bring our diverse minds and perspectives to address the biggest problems our industry faces and I would be honoured to be nominated for this board position.

Emma Williams
Emma Williams

Title: Director

Company: Edelman

Biography: I joined Edelman in 2011 as an Account Executive, and started my career working on Sky Ireland, O2 and Microsoft. Over the last 10 years I’m really proud of clients I’ve worked with including National Lottery, Unilever, KBC Bank, SSE Airtricity, Littlewoods Ireland and Coca-Cola. In the same year that I represented Ireland as a Young Lion at Cannes I was also shortlisted by the PRII and PRCA for the Young Communications Professional of the Year award and was named on PR Week UK’s 2017 30 Under 30 list. I was the only candidate to be selected from Ireland included in this prestigious list.

I graduated from TUD in 2010 with an MA in Public Relations and hold an honours degree in English and History from NUI Maynooth. More recently I returned to TUD to complete the CPD in Creative Thinking in Creative Commercial Communications.

Election Pitch: I have been working in communications agency Edelman for over 10 years. I absolutely love working in agency and have since day one! Despite its challenges in many ways, the past year has been our most successful to date from a talent retention, new client wins, and awards perspective. We were awarded PRCA Agency of the Year for the second year running, had excellent client wins at the AIMs as well as being recognised across a variety of other awards.

I sit on Edelman’s management team, and really enjoy that aspect of my role working with the wider senior leadership team to develop the agency strategy both at a local and international level. I believe I have a unique skillset that encompasses all elements of the communications landscape and I’m genuinely passionate about the role it can play to build trust in brands and business in society today. It is on the basis of that passion and that experience that I am asking for your vote.

In recent years I’ve been part of the evolution of our agency structure where we removed siloed teams and brought an integrated mindset to our clients. This evolution has been led by a simple client truth: they come to us with a problem and expect the best solution possible, regardless of whether that comes from Brand, Digital, Public Affairs, Creative or Corporate experts. For me, it has meant my role has also evolved to become the Client Lead for clients including Coca-Cola and Littlewoods Ireland, where I lead fully integrated teams that include Creative, Digital, Public Affairs, Corporate and Brand experts.

I have counseled the most Senior Client Stakeholders as they navigate fundamental challenges to their businesses, most recently Brexit and Covid. This work has shown me that the development of an integrated communications strategy has never been more crucial. Socially and economically, brands and business are currently facing adversity and opportunity in equal measure. Ensuring these brands and businesses are understood, esteemed, and supported by all stakeholders, from consumers to C-Suite executives to Government has never been more important.

From an industry perspective, we are in a very interesting time. Not only do we have an amazing pool of creative talent, and an industry with a success story to tell, but we have seen how government perception of our industry is shifting. The pandemic really challenged society’s values and made the policy makers begin to understand the merit of our creative community and how valuable our industry is to society and the wider economy. We have a real opportunity now to lock in that new understanding and to take advantage of it on behalf of our industry by ensuring we are also understood, esteemed and supported. This is an exciting time for IAPI and I believe that through the implementation of an insight driven communications strategy, we have a real opportunity to position our industry as a partner to government in driving our economic and societal recovery.

My own journey with IAPI started in 2017 when I flew to Cannes on the first ever PR team for Cannes Young Lions, and since then I have been really impressed with the IAPI initiatives and have participated in many over the years. From brilliant training to access to world class leaders and everything in between, IAPI is really shaping what it means to work in our industry today. Following my Cannes trip, I was even more passionate than before about our industry and have reaped the benefits of participating in many IAPI programmes as my career progressed. If elected to the IAPI Board I would relish the opportunity to promote all that is great about the organisation.

Finian Murphy
Finian Murphy

Title: Marketing Director

Company: Core

Biography: Finian is the Marketing Director at Core. He graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Marketing from Technological University Dublin (formerly DIT) and joined Mindshare where he was their Head of Consumer Insights. He moved to BBDO Dublin as a Strategic Planner working on NFL, Mars Europe and Diageo and went on to form Agility – a collective of freelancers who worked on social and creative projects. He has worked with Core for over seven years, and as well as his role as Marketing Director, leads the publication of external reports on public sentiment and market behaviours, often contributing on radio and in press

Election Pitch: In my role as Marketing Director for Core, I have the privilege of sharing the fantastic work of my colleagues across the business. Throughout 2020, as I observed my colleagues collaborating on public health campaigns, I was reminded of the power of advertising. Great communications can influence behaviour, and in this case, it helped save lives.

I believe communications should be effective and create a return for those who trust us with their communication objectives. Having worked in both Mindshare and BBDO before Core, I have experienced both sides of the sector and I believe we have a need to improve our collaborative skills in order to create economic value. The Effies is a great starting point in this space. We also need to demonstrate to the wider business community, the Government and the public, that we create economic and societal value.

I believe our sector has a responsibility and opportunity to lead on important social change. In 2015, I brought together a collective of freelancers, and collaborated with Yes Equality to create the social campaign, Straight Up for Equality. This had a significant impact on the public vote in favour of marriage equality. I have written for The Irish Times and spoken to the Citizens Assembly calling on men to do more to address gender inequality. In recent months, I have presented research on the role of public service media to the Future of Media Commission. We have a privilege and power to influence conversations and action on areas such as inclusivity, inequalities, race and ethnicity, LGBTI+ and of course, the climate emergency.

These conversations are ignited through engaging and emotional creative ideas. Ideas which move us. Ideas which make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Ideas which pushes us to respond. Without these creative ideas, we are nothing. Our sector needs to do more to protect and nurture our creators. We need to ensure our creative community is diverse and representative of the wider society, and I commend IAPI on putting DEI as a central focus of the future strategy. I strongly believe that nurturing those who create art and culture is vital to the advertising sector, but also to a thriving Irish society. We should protect and showcase our musicians, film producers, artists and theatre makers because culture and emotion is the heart of effective communications.

I believe I can help with these areas and drive the agenda of IAPI into the future.

Thank you for considering me for the role of Communication Specialist on the IAPI Board.

Helen Stanley
Helen Stanley

Title: Finance Business Partner

Company: Core

Biography: I have always had a keen interest in the Advertising Industry. During my time in DCU where I graduated with an honours Business Degree, I completed a number of Advertising modules, I found the classes very interesting and was fascinated by the clever ideas and psychology behind the campaigns.

Along with this interest, I also enjoyed the Finance side and felt my skills were stronger in this area. I specialised in Finance and continued my studies after college to become a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA qualified 2004). I also hold a diploma in Digital Marketing from the DMI.

During my career I have worked in several industries namely Household Appliances, Technology and a stint in Banking. I joined Core in 2007 as the Financial Controller for what became Radical and progressed my career to the Finance Business Partner role in Core.

Election Pitch: My work experience has given me an excellent understanding of various Industries and what works in terms of best practices that help contribute towards the success of a Company.

My 15 years’ experience in Core has given me a strong knowledge of the Advertising Industry, specifically in financial management. I have an in-depth knowledge of the financial aspects of the Advertising industry, and I feel confident that these skills will be beneficial to IAPI. I am a hardworking, driven person with a strong finance background that will offer a trusted and confident voice to the Board.

Neal Davies
Neal Davies

Title: CEO

Company: BBDO Dublin


Neal is a 30-year veteran of the advertising and marketing industry with experience as a client, as an advertising agency lead and as an industry figure on both sides of the Atlantic.

He began his career began on the client side with Kodak in the UK—back when people used to put film in cameras—and he has since held leadership roles in London and New York at Simons Palmer, Chiat Day, McCann, TBWA Worldwide, Naked Communications (of which he was founding partner in the US), and as CEO of Effie Worldwide.

Along the way he won the UK TV Commercial of the Year (for PlayStation – also in the Clios Hall of Fame), a Grand Effie (for Hilton Hotels) and an Emmy (for a pro-bono client in New York).

In September 2017—after 18 years in the USA—he and his family returned to Europe to make their home in Ireland, and he took on the role of CEO at BBDO Dublin.

Election Pitch:

I've had a 30-year career on both sides of the Atlantic, but probably have never been happier than in my last 4 years here in Dublin.

When we made a family decision to leave the USA, it was very important for me not to go back to London, not to do something I’d done before, instead to seek out a new challenge and to dive in and enjoy it. Now that I'm settled here and my family are calling this place home, I feel I am able to start giving back to the industry, and that’s why I’m standing for the board.

In terms of my pitch to you, besides creativity, two things are very important to me: effectiveness and talent, and both of them send a clear signal to clients on behalf of our industry.


I was able to bring some of my experience to the inaugural Effie Ireland program this year. Should I be elected to the board I would be happy to use my experience and connections to continue this drive for effectiveness. Effectiveness is important because it gives us a voice on the global stage, and it allows us to prove our worth to the client community.


If there is one issue which I know as an agency leader keeps me up at night, it’s the fact that our industry faces challenges from our friends in big tech, not least of which is the wage inflation we are currently experiencing.

I would like to play a part in consolidating our role as generators of creativity in a State where creative is native, but also hold our own as THE talent destination for young people with creative ambition.

In summary, I have 30-odd years of experience as a both a client and an agency lead, but the opportunity to play a part in IAPI’s continued momentum, focusing on effectiveness and talent, is one I would be honoured to take on board.

Thank you for your consideration.