Sean Hynes, co-founder and creative director of Bonfire, is the new president of IAPI. Hynes takes over from Shenda Loughnane whose term of office comes to an end and she steps aside to become the new global managing director of the Dentsu-owned iProspect.
Other new recruits to the board, following the AGM, include Neal Davies, BBDO Dublin; Emma Williams, Edelman and Helen Stanley,Core.
Before setting up Bonfire Hynes worked for a number of agencies including Bates Ireland, Y&R (formerly Hunter Red Cell) and Publicis QMP.
“I’m hugely honoured to have been appointed to this role and really looking forward to continuing to work with such a dynamic executive and board at IAPI. The next few years are going to be very interesting for our industry. We have challenges, opportunities and successes that put us in a different place than we have been before,” says Hynes.
“Thanks in no small way to my predecessor, Shenda Loughnane, IAPI has restructured its focus and priorities to both tackle and capitalise on each of these. Everything we do as an organisation over the next few years will fall under one of the three priority areas; talent, growth and sustainability,” he says.
“We now have a very clear lens to look through and ensure that all of our energies and activities are focused on these priorities. As a strategy it’s very forward-looking and positive. It’s all about growth. But with growth comes responsibility and we need to demonstrate clear leadership and guidance in this area,” he adds.
“It’s also important that we call out and appreciate just how well we are actually doing as an industry here in Ireland. We have been achieving unprecedented success and international recognition across all our industry sectors: media, PR, experiential, strategy and creative. Not least among these is the record volume of international business now handled here and the record volume of international awards that have been won across all our sectors.
“I believe that we are now seeing the emergence of a dynamic whereby our success is creating even more success. We have raised the standard of output across all our sectors to the degree that clients are now seeing this success and, more than ever, they want to benefit from the best of what we do. They are seeing the results and the excitement that is generated by great work and they too want to be part of it. So, what I’m looking forward to most of over the next two years is simply to see lots more of that success and maybe, just maybe, we’ll allow ourselves to have a little fun along the way.”
Speaking about his appointment to the board, Neal Davies says: “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.”
Meanwhile, Emma Williams adds: “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.”