The Irish Tourist Board’s international marketing director has
resigned, just hours after the controversial new Ireland tourism logo,
which he masterminded, was scrapped.
Noel Toolan’s decision to quit his pounds 100,000-a-year job, after
completing less than half of a five- year contract, has surprised the
industry and shocked the Tourist Board. It comes after new Irish Tourism
Minister, Dr Jim McDaid, ordered a revamp of the controversial tourism
logo within weeks of taking office.
Toolan, aged 39, has wide international experience and his recruitment
was regarded as something of a coup. He had previously worked with
Procter & Gamble and Grand Metropolitan.
Toolan was responsible for setting up Tourism Brand Ireland, a new
marketing concept that portrayed the country as a modern, vibrant
holiday destination and eliminated the traditional, thatched cottage
image. He commissioned a new logo, replacing the traditional shamrock
with a couple about to dance or embrace.
The Northern Ireland Tourist Board liked the idea and committed pounds
500,000 to promote the new brand on an all-Ireland basis.
However, the new government has scrapped the logo and plans to return to
the shamrock motif at a cost of pounds 100,000.