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Replace these Affiliate Programs at ANYTIME! Your banner here within the next hour. Learn How!, the sixth largest Irish consumer website, brings its successful club of consumers and brands to the UK today.’s award winning model for creating a rewarding relationship-marketing community has inspired the marketing industry, and secured UK partnerships with Blockbuster, UGC cinemas, Ebay, CD WOW!, Figleaves and Virgin Wines. The company plans to spend over £6m launching its model in Britain.

Pigsback is a clear market leader in Ireland, boasting over 30% of all online marketing spend and has won multiple awards in marketing and communications. It counts Kellogg's, Lever Faberge, Jacob's, Coca-Cola, Guinness and Pernod Ricard among its frequent clients.

These brands bring highly targeted, and often exclusive, offers to active and receptive consumers through the site or via permission-based e-mail. Blockbuster successfully implemented large-scale marketing campaigns with in Ireland, and is one of the first brands to back the UK initiative.

Marius O’Reilly, Marketing Director of CD WOW! is keen to point out why this new loyalty model is so unique. He says: “Pigsback engenders a soft and less commercial tone, with measured permission-based communications and a respect for its members. Yes it is a marketing tool, and a successful one too, but Pigsback works within carefully established rules of engagement that keep consumers coming back, active and receptive to our marketing messages”.

‘On the pig’s back’ is derived from an old Gaelic expression ‘ar muin na muice’, meaning ‘to be on a winner’ or ‘to be a step ahead’. Members are on the ‘Pigsback’ because they receive PiggyPoints and carefully targeted offers; they can enter competitions and polls; read or add to member submissions; get hints and tips in areas such as travel and wellbeing.

Salem Lassoued, Corporate Development Manager at Virgin Wines, believes the model brings consumers the best brands have to offer in specifically targeted areas of interest.

He says: “Pigsback creates an environment in which the brand’s message is welcome and relevant to consumers by carefully and progressively cultivating strong consumer loyalty – a concept that is at the heart of the Virgin Wines brand. Essentially, by always attending to consumer interests and needs, Pigsback creates a relationship that balances strong entertainment and rewards for members with the needs of marketers to reach consumers online”.

The concept behind the site is founded on a unique marketing model, called Empathy Marketing®. With its roots in trial generation, Empathy Marketing has evolved into a relationship-marketing tool that is now part of the marketing degree curriculum in Ireland.

According to Michael Dwyer, CEO of Pigsback's parent company Empathy Marketing Ltd, change in media consumption habits presents brands with new opportunities for engaging the consumer. He says: "The time has come to move on from basic permission-based marketing to one that puts the consumer first, and can be honest about its marketing intentions. Redefining the relationship builds interaction based on trust, reward, feedback and fun.

“This works especially well for brands that are not traditionally comfortable with the current online opportunities such as FMCG and some offline retailers., and its principles of Empathy Marketing, have proved that these brands can engage the consumer, build a strong, enduring relationship and successfully maximise the opportunity of the web.”

Originally created in July 2000, (Ireland), has proved to be a successful model for a reward-based consumer site: in terms of its traffic, it ranks the sixth largest consumer site in Ireland (according to JNIR Autumn 2004), with over 100 brand partners. offers brands and consumers mutual benefits based on the principles of Empathy Marketing ® and has successfully brought FMCG, retail, entertainment and travel brands together to target a large base of active consumers. It attributes this success to its Empathy Marketing approach which it has been fine-tuning in the 5 years since its inception.

As well as the backing of the partnership brands, the UK launch is supported by substantial private investment that allows for significant consumer recruitment campaigning to rapidly increase UK membership.


Editor’s notes

About Pigsback is a reward-based consumer site, which has become the sixth biggest in Ireland, and has won both digital and marketing awards. The company creates successful partnerships between consumers and brands: where consumers are rewarded and brands are able to reach carefully targeted audiences.

The core values of the company are based on Empathy Marketing® principles, which are: permission-based; relevance; edge; mix of hard and soft messaging; frequency of communications; messages, not adverts; and development, not technology.

This concept redefines the relationship between the brand and the consumer through trust, reward, feedback and fun - mainly in the lifestyle and entertainment arenas.

The Pigsback website specialises in providing a unique marketing service in which brand messages are welcome to the target consumers, which is primarily females, aged 25-35 and in the B/C1 demographic. Its skilled team balances marketing and communications with a strong understanding of technologies and business processes. Furthermore, the company is committed to providing a quality service that is mutually beneficial to brands and consumers alike.

Current brand partners include Ebay, Blockbuster, CD WOW!, Figleaves and Virgin Wines.

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