The number of Irish ad agencies in the country has dropped from about 80 in 2007 to 40 today.
This trend is driven by a growing need for creative work, says Mark Kelly, a marketing consultant and former advertising executive.
“We’ve had the big wave of digital advertising, which is very competitive and requires a lot of creativity, and we’ve also had the new reality that people are not looking to be photographed as much anymore,” Mr Kelly says.
He says the industry is experiencing a “tipping point”.
“People don’t want to see their faces on the screen as much, and so you’re seeing fewer agencies and fewer agencies looking at the same content,” he says.
In some sectors of the advertising industry, there are already signs of an erosion in the number of ad agencies.
A report from the Advertising Standards Authority last month found the number at the end of June fell by 1,000 over the previous year.
“I think that’s one of the reasons for the drop, because it’s just not the same kind of work that was being done years ago,” Mr Watkins says.
The numbers at agencies are also down across the board.
“There’s less competition now, less advertising agencies are doing more work for clients,” Mr Walsh says.
“So we’ve had more people who are more likely to be interested in looking for work than they were 10 years ago.”
He says that’s a good thing.
“In the digital age, there’s no excuse for not looking at ads, especially if you’re not going to be doing that kind of content in the long term,” he explains.
“If you’re looking to do digital advertising that’s going to cost money and there’s a chance that you’re going to have to go out and do a lot more of it, then that’s the place where you have to make a decision.”
The decline in the industry isn’t just in advertising, however.
In the last few years, a lot has changed about the way that people spend their money, says marketing consultant Joe Blythe.
“The internet has made people more aware of what they can do with their money,” he argues.
“People are less inclined to go to a store and buy something and they’re more likely, if they’re going out and shopping, to go online and do it themselves.”
This is a trend that Mr Walsh hopes to reverse in the coming year.
For the next five years, he is setting up a website to promote his products and services.
“My goal is to create the most engaging, useful and relevant online marketing platform that I can, that’s both mobile and desktop,” he said.
“This will be my platform for the coming years.”