The kingdom and the crisis
Saudi Arabia’s advertising executives say they’ve changed the way they do business because of the economic crisis, and that the days of “babying” are over, reports Communicate.
November 12, 2009 3:58 by Rania Habib
Marwan Qutub, general manager of 3 Points Advertising thinks, the crisis becomes an opportunity for those who still can invest in advertising, and that the crisis has been very sector specific. “The mega real estate development sector has been affected majorly, and I can safely say that this sector is almost close to dormant,” he says.
“But to our benefit in Saudi Arabia, the real estate boom was just about to start, and the sector doesn’t represent a major percentage of overall ad spend. Otherwise it’s been business as usual for sectors like the FMCG sector.”
Bishara Ghawi, vice president of Team Young & Rubicam, says the ongoing changes are being accepted quicker at the client level than at the agency level, and that that has created a disconnect. “Advertising isn’t about us versus them anymore, it is about us and them,” he says. “It isn’t enough to keep our own business needs in mind, but to see each and every action through our clients’ eyes, with two objectives: increase their exposure and profitability.”
Shami stresses that these tough times will make every advertising industry professional accountable for his work, and that the days of “babying” are over. He says the driving forces of communication today are on television, including Unilever and Procter & Gamble, and three major telecom companies using outdoor advertising, while he says the banking sector may start moving in 2010.
“But in my opinion,” he says, “I don’t want to put words in the mouths of others. I think we’re looking at a bleaker 2010 compared to 2009.”
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