Thursday, August 27, 2009

Aer Lingus - Debt tripled in 1st half 2009

From RTE business news:
"Management at Aer Lingus say the outlook for the airline is highly uncertain following publication of the latest financial results.

The company has also said it can no longer afford to pay what was described as 'legacy-style' pay rates to staff.

Losses at the airline have tripled to €93m in the first half of the year."

Perhaps Aer Lingus should call it a day and stop keeping up the illusion that they can turn the airline afloat... what's that noise? I think I hear Michael O'Leary knocking at the door...

Images from the road 5

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Alternative Big Mac Index

The Economist magazine recently produced what it calls "the alternative Big Mac index" , it details how long the average worker, weighted across 14 industries, must work in order to afford the price of a Big Mac at local prices.
Interesting stuff, I wouldn't fancy working for 6 days like the average worker in Nairobi. Does that mean Big Macs are essentially fine cuisine there?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The problem with pies

The editor of "Simple Complexity" found at came up with a very strong argument as to why pie charts are not always the best way to go when trying to put across numbers, and are actually quite misleading at times due to the fact that our poor little brains aren't all that good at judging the areas of the various segments.

Check out the pie chart below, take a second to work out for yourself how the segments rank from highest to lowest.

It's not all that easy is it? Now check out the dot chart below and try and do the same ranking exercise.Which is easier to understand? the vast majority of people will find making sense of the numbers involved in the dot chart. Both charts show the same numbers and are as follows A = 25, C = 21, D = 18, E = 10, F = 10.

Very nice example of why some charts can be innappropriate in some situations.

For more gems head to

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nine A1's in the leaving

Only one student achieved 9 A1's in the leaving cert this year.

Behold the face of Ireland's (nerdy) future!

Aer Lingus numbers improve - not enough for Ryanair

The Irish Times recently published an article on increased Aer Lingus passenger numbers for July... Ryanair's Head of communications Stephan McNamara wasn't going to let this one go unchallenged.

Here is his letter to the Irish Times:

Madam, – I am contacting you in relation to the large article which appeared in your business section (“Aer Lingus passenger numbers rise 8.2 per cent”, August 11th). There was no reference to Ryanair’s passenger numbers for July, which reported growth of 19 per cent to over 6.7 million passengers.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, is one of only a few indigenous companies to lead its sector in Europe and it is worrying that our July passenger numbers, which were six times those of Aer Lingus and detailed our remarkable and newsworthy July growth, were overlooked by The Irish Times.

While I do not expect any editorial favour to be shown to Ryanair I request that our good news stories be given the same consideration and space in your business pages as those of other leading Irish companies or small regional airlines such as Aer Lingus. – Yours, etc,


Head of Communications,


Dublin Airport,

Co Dublin.

Images from the road 4

Calgary Skyline, some small animals footprints in the foreground
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Me & Google Earth

Another entry for the Slideshare competition

Images from the road 3


Ballard, Seattle
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Worlds Best Presentation Contest

Well I have a small favour to ask any readers of this blog with Slideshare accounts. I am entering this years "World's best presentation competition" over at and need your vote!
The presentation in question is below and if you click through to here you can give me a vote... Pleeeeease.

Thanks in advance

Pharmacy situation getting ugly

According the the Irish Independent the Pharmacy situation is becoming a bit sinister, an article in today's paper starts "Garda protection drafted in as pharmacy row turns ugly".
It would seem disgruntled pharmacy owners have been turning up to the temporary dispensing centres and abusing the staff there... Pharmacists have obviously commenced foot shooting in earnest.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Michael O'Leary's finest quotations

Although I will aknowledge he is not everyones cup of tea I have to admit that I quite like his quite "to the point" way of speaking. Below is a presentation I put together detailing a short selection of his finest remarks.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Man on Wire

Phillipe Petit walked a tightrope between the 2 WTC buildings in 1974. Pretty epic...

Irish Pharmacists - Shooting themsleves in the foot

This week roughly half of the pharmacies in Ireland are planning to stop dispensing medicine to those with medical card as a form of protest against the governments proposed cut in their fees.

To me this seems like the most ill thought out protest possible, and will result in the public having a VERY sour attitude towards their local pharmacy, and perhaps will expose the somewhat cut throat nature of the "local friendly pharmacist".

What tomorrows actions mean is the following - elderly people who need their medicine will have to travel around and find a pharmacy willing to give them their medicine "Can I have my heart medicine so I can stay alive?" - "No they are cutting the margin on that slightly so I don't want to give that to you", very sick people will not know for certain whether they can get medicine they need... I'm not sure that's how you get the public on your side.

Furthermore, pharmacies who do stay open will poach customers from the ones that are protesting, For example: "Boots Ireland has confirmed that all its pharmacies across the country will remain open for business to dispense a full pharmacy service from August 1. Boots will continue to dispense all medicine schemes to ensure customers ‘are not disadvantaged’"
... That is how you win customers and keep them.

The IPU are shooting themselves in the foot here, rather than protecting small pharmacies they are going to be driving people to the larger ones and indirectly killing off the smaller guys. Bravo IPU. Should be an interesting week

Saturday, August 1, 2009

iPhone apps - overated? (Yes)

I have to say I am becoming a little sick "bright shiny object" syndrome that has struck a large portion of the marketing community regarding iPhone apps. My two favorite statistics about the apps are below.

In the US the market share (in terms of handsets) is currently at 2.4%... When you are developing apps with the intention of using them as advertising vehicles 2.4% is not a very large target to be aiming for. While I acknowledged that this share will rise, Apple will never own the entire market - you will always be aiming for a portion - rather than all - of phone users.

Now, once you have reached your 2.4% of the market, or whatever % it may be, you must now contend with the fact that the chances are that people will not use it more than once. The numbers above tell the story quite well.

With poor reach, poor usage, and questionable value-for-advertising-dollars I am not very positive about the marketing potential of iPhone apps.
(By the way I do acknowledge there are some useful fun apps out there, some, and I am talking about this from a marketing perspective)