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Target McConnells and DDFH&B Merge to Form JWT Folk


Agency will be led by CEO Abi Moran, Joint Managing Directors Laura Daley and Enda Kelly, and Creative Partner Karl Waters

Target McConnells and DDFH&B Merge to Form JWT Folk

There is a new big player in Irish ad land as JWT Folk opens its doors today. The 80 person strong agency has been established following the merger of Target McConnells and DDFH&B, and is set to inject radical competition into the industry with a new agency model, new leadership team and a new creative vision – all geared towards impacting culture.

Its scale and client roster immediately positions the agency in Irish adland’s top five, and a major new force in the industry.

Backed by the firepower of the J. Walter Thompson global network, JWT Folk will be led by CEO Abi Moran, Joint Managing Directors Laura Daley and Enda Kelly, and Creative Partner Karl Waters.

Moran states: “As the name suggests, we’re obsessed with creating ideas for the people, not for 'demographics' or 'target audiences'. JWT Folk treat people as people and work hard at understanding how to connect with them.

“The new agency was created in direct response to the challenges brands face in today’s consumer landscape. People don’t care about advertising anymore and actively avoid it. So to create advertising that people are going to engage with we need to have a far deeper understanding of the people we are talking to and the culture around them. Only then can we get them to like, comment, share, refer, or buy our brand. Brands must start creating strategies, ideas and content that is optimised for conversation.

“To do that as a business we needed to rethink our agency model, with a new internal structure and collaboration system and new external partners, which allow us to focus on understanding people and impacting culture.”

From left to right: Enda Kelly, Joint Managing Director; Abi Moran, Chief Executive Officer; Laura Daley, Joint Managing Director; Karl Waters, Creative Partner

In addition to new creative talent recruited over the last two months, the new agency has invested in senior expertise in specialist areas of strategy, creating a multi-skilled strategy offering all geared towards better understanding the business challenges brands face coupled with tools and resources to better understand our audience and the culture around them. This is combined with J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, a specialised practice within the network, that will offer a unique blend of research, innovation and data analytics.

JWT Folk’s clients include Vodafone, An Post, Liberty Insurance, Irish Life Health, Lucozade, McCain, Littlewoods Ireland, Unilever, Brennans, The Irish League of Credit Unions, HSE, Safefood, Topaz, Diageo, The Marie Keating Foundation, Hickey's Pharmacy and Dublin City Council amongst others.

Moran adds: “We are really fortunate to have such brilliant clients who span such a diverse number of sectors and industries. It means we are always able to give a far better and broader picture of an audience based on our experience across a range of sectors and buying contexts - with a far more holistic perspective of what is happening in Irish culture.”

Moran concludes: “The advertising game has changed. The old rules don’t apply. Brands need to move from talking at people, to getting them to do the talking for them. With the creation of JWT Folk, we are now geared to deliver this proposition at pace”.

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Folk Wunderman Thompson, Tue, 06 Mar 2018 15:57:54 GMT