Redmond O'Donoghue, Chairman
Shaun Quinn, CEO
Failte Ireland
30 June, 2010

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Re: Withdrawal of ‘Meeting Ireland’ advertising campaign

Dear Sirs;

We write to ask you to withdraw immediately the advertisements you have placed in the media to promote business meetings at a variety of locations around Ireland.

These advertisements are in direct conflict with government policy in the form of SmarterTravel, launched early last year, which sets targets for greater numbers of people using modern technology to avoid the use of travel. We quote:

"This [new government] Policy focuses on one aspect of flexible working, the concept of e-working."

Action 5 seeks to

‘ensure that the public sector is an exemplar in the area of e-working and will require all organisations in the public sector to set targets to encourage e-working where appropriate."

Your mocking of phone conferencing does nothing to promote the very useful, economic, and environmentally friendly forms of tele-conferencing and e-conferencing available. Failte Ireland would be better advised to ensure the provision instead (in at least all of Ireland's larger urban areas) of facilities in a hotel or other publicly accessible building where a member of the public could video-link to a colleague or colleagues anywhere in the world. Failte Ireland could be of use in ensuring these facilities are made available at reasonable cost and when this is assured could then publicise their availability.

SmarterTravel is a very well publicised policy. We are taken aback that you appeared unaware of its existence to date.

By undermining government policy, these advertisements are more than a a simple waste of public funds. We look forward to confirmation of the withdrawal of an advertising campaigns that contravene government policy and denigrates and disparages forward thinking and the smart economy.


Yours, etc.,

Tony Lowes,
Director


CC: Noel Dempsey, TD, Minister for Transport
Ciaran Cuffe, TD Minister of State for Horticulture
Mary Hanafin, TD Minister for Tourism Culture and Sport.
Conor Lenihan. TD Minister for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources

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