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The Brill Building’s Roisin Keown Wins Ireland’s Creative Businesswoman of the Year


Roisin Keown is one of Ireland’s most awarded advertising creatives

The Brill Building’s Roisin Keown Wins Ireland’s Creative Businesswoman of the Year

Roisin Keown, founder and executive creative director of The Brill Building has won this year’s Creative Businesswoman of the Year award at the annual Image PwC Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2022.

Roisin Keown is one of Ireland’s most awarded advertising creatives and one of the few females to have become a head of creative at a large agency. 

In 2018, she left JWT Ireland outpost DDFH&B to relocate her young family from Dublin city to the West of Ireland. The following year, after a period of freelancing, she took a leap of faith and, with no seed funding, started her own creative agency, The Brill Building.

She and her team that includes creative directors Dan Henson and Peter Snodden and elite freelancers digital strategist Eadaoin Fitzmaurice, PR strategist Maria Rolston and director of photography Ross O’Callaghan gave Cork-based charity Breakthrough Cancer Research a national profile for the first time through an end-to-end rebrand that included creating ‘The Shop that Nearly Wasn’t’ – the world’s first shop 100% stocked and staffed by cancer survivors.

That work alone has been recognised nationally and internationally as best in class, winning multiple industry awards in every communications discipline from strategy and activation, to campaign, PR and production.

From a business started at a kitchen table in the West of Ireland in 2019, just six months before a global pandemic, to Ireland’s most awarded new creative agency in 24 months, Roisin has defied convention and the odds at every step.

Commenting on the setting up of the agency, Roisin said: “When I moved to East Clare I was really looking for a change of life and I wasn’t sure it would equate to a change of career. At the time, I wasn’t convinced you could work in an advertising agency from the West of Ireland, certainly there weren’t many examples.  As Ireland’s first virtual creative agency, The Brill Building was created to give more creatives longer and more exciting careers. Our agile model suits those who want flexibility so I hope that keeps more of our amazing female talent. I’m so appreciative of the efforts of our amazing team – guys and girls – who have helped us achieve everything we have so far at The Brill Building. Thank you to Charley Stoney and IAPI for their tireless support of women in all areas of our industry” 

The other IAPI nominee Sandra Alvarez, MD, Spark Foundry, part of Core, was runner up to Debbie Byrne, MD, An Post Retail in the category Management Professional of the Year.

Also in attendance on the night for support were IAPI members Nessa Van Rooyen, Group M, Anna Doyle, Core, Aoife McCleary, In the Company of Huskies, Emer Lawn, Starcom, Emma Williams, Edelman, Fiona Field, OMD, Helen Stanley, Core and Charley Stoney, CEO, IAPI.

According to Charley: “The entire team of IAPI and the Board congratulate all the shortlisted candidates and winners at the IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2022. We were thrilled to nominate both Roisin and Sandra in their respective categories this year and to see them both shortlisted.”

The IMAGE PWC Businesswoman of the Year awards are Ireland’s pre-eminent business awards, celebrating female success. Over 500 entries were received across nine categories and every industry from social entrepreneurship to start-up and management professionals.

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The Brill Building, Fri, 22 Apr 2022 14:49:41 GMT