LEAD­ING THE WAY

Top 10 Per­form­ers in Le­banon & the Arab World

ArabAd - - FRONT PAGE - BY: ELIE AOUN CEO Ip­sos Con­nect MEAP

Al­though we all feel re­lieved at the end of a dif­fi­cult year while hop­ing for a bet­ter year ahead, we later come to re­alise that mat­ters were even more dif­fi­cult and com­pli­cated than ex­pected. It also seems that the start of 2016 will not be promis­ing ei­ther.

At the be­gin­ning of ev­ery year, and in the years that fol­lowed, we an­a­lyse ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­tures in the MENA re­gion. The year 2015 was def­i­nitely a very tough one as most mar­kets showed a drop in the to­tal ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­tures, with few ex­cep­tions. Also, the political and se­cu­rity tur­bu­lences in the re­gion are not help­ing at all. Syria is still in a dra­matic war, the same ap­plies to Iraq, and KSA is in war with Ye­men while many other coun­tries fight in­sta­bil­ity.

An­other im­por­tant fac­tor com­pound­ing the above-men­tioned prob­lems is the shift to dig­i­tal that is gain­ing trac­tion, which for the first time in 2015, is start­ing to be­come a se­ri­ous threat for ex­ist­ing me­dia. Agen­cies started to get man­dates from their global of­fices to shift some of their bud­gets to dig­i­tal, thereby cut­ting into pre­vi­ously al­lo­cated bud­gets re­served for tra­di­tional me­dia with the ma­jor­ity now go­ing mainly to the likes of Google and Face­book. Fur­ther­more, the lack of un­der­stand­ing of dig­i­tal in our re­gion, is adding a lit­tle bit of chaos, con­sid­er­ing that only few peo­ple are cer­tain to ap­proach the mat­ter in the fu­ture.

For that very rea­son, agen­cies need to spend more on dig­i­tal and less on tra­di­tional me­dia. In our re­gion, be­yond the shadow of a doubt, TV is the big­gest and most ef­fi­cient me­dia, which is why dig­i­tal com­pa­nies are fo­cus­ing mainly on prov­ing that medium’s worth as a tool that has the abil­ity to in­crease the reach of TV and tra­di­tional me­dia in gen­eral, and can be a cheaper re­place­ment. Al­though, this has not been proven yet, least not in our re­gion and in any mar­ket in the world, the pres­sure, none­the­less is in­creas­ing.

Be­fore we be­gin, I would like to re­mind the read­ers that the num­bers are based on the of­fi­cial rate cards, which are very in­flated com­pared to the re­al­ity. I also would like to re­mind the read­ers, that all our at­tempts to try to re­duce those in­flated num­bers by bring­ing them closer to re­al­ity have not been suc­cess­ful, as most play­ers pre­fer to keep things as they are, strength­en­ing the fear of trans­parency, which un­for­tu­nately still reigns supreme.

TV is still the big­gest me­dia in our re­gion, with 77% mar­ket share, from the to­tal ex­pen­di­tures in 2015 amount­ing to $25.4 bil­lion com­pared to $24.4 bil­lion in 2014. Based on rate cards, the num­bers in 2015, for the first time, in­creased just a lit­tle re­sult­ing in a slight de­crease on news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines, with the for­mer drop­ping 8% in 2015 though keep­ing its se­cond place in terms of share from to­tal ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­tures of

12%. Mag­a­zines dropped by 8% with a to­tal mar­ket share of 2%. That money went to dig­i­tal. Out­door comes in 3rd place with a share of 5%, Ra­dio is in fourth with a share of 3%, and Cinema comes last with a share of 1%.

This year, we looked at the num­bers from dif­fer­ent an­gles to try and bet­ter un­der­stand what is hap­pen­ing. If we con­sider the num­bers by mar­ket, the Pan Arab mar­ket, where most of the satel­lite TV chan­nels are al­lo­cated is still lead­ing with 35% mar­ket share up 7% year on year. This is fol­lowed by Egypt in se­cond place, with 34% mar­ket share and growth of 12% year on year. The UAE is in third with 9% mar­ket share and 2% of growth. Le­banon is in fourth place with a growth of 4%. KSA is fifth place with 5% mar­ket share and a de­cline of 9% year on year. Kuwait is in sixth place with 3% mar­ket share and a de­cline of 22%, mainly due to the clo­sure of Al Watan TV and News­pa­per. Iraq, Qatar, Pan Asia, Jor­dan, Oman, Bahrain and Syria came in last place, in ad­di­tion to all of them show­ing a de­cline year on year, with the ex­cep­tion of the Pan Asia mar­ket, which wit­nessed a small growth.

TV is the lead­ing me­dia in the Pan Arab mar­ket, Egypt, Le­banon, Iraq and Pan Asia. News­pa­pers is the lead­ing me­dia in the fol­low­ing mar­kets: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Jor­dan, Oman and Bahrain. How­ever, due to the pres­sure from dig­i­tal, those mar­kets will start to lose ground if they do not find the right for­mula.

What is also very re­mark­able in 2015, is that in most of the mar­kets, even the ones that have de­clin­ing ex­pen­di­tures, the num­ber of ads in­creased, mean­ing that th­ese out­lets are of­fer­ing more for less with the clients ben­e­fit­ing most.

Look­ing at the num­bers from an­other dif­fer­ent an­gle, the Food sec­tor in 2015 sur­passed the Hygiene and Beauty Care sec­tor as the num­ber one sec­tor while the Hygiene and Beauty Care fell to se­cond place fol­lowed by En­ter­tain­ment and Leisure, with non-al­co­holic drinks in forth and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion in fifth place. By cat­e­gory, Real Es­tate is lead­ing this year, re­plac­ing the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion in se­cond place fol­lowed by Med­i­cal Ser­vices. In fourth place is the Au­to­mo­tive sec­tor fol­lowed by Restau­rants in fifth place. By Brand, Det­tol is tak­ing the lead from Pepsi which fell to se­cond in 2015 fol­lowed by Dabur in third, Saudi Tele­com in forth and Sedar in fifth place.

The Top agency in 2015 in terms of of­fi­cial ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­tures is Star­com Me­di­avest Group fol­lowed by Uni­ver­sal me­dia in se­cond, OMD in third, MEC in forth and Ini­tia­tive in fifth place.

For 2016, the Dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­tures will fi­nally be added to our end-of year anal­y­sis start­ing with the month of Jan­uary 2016.

The fol­low­ing num­bers are based on the hard work of hun­dreds of col­leagues in the re­gion work­ing on a daily ba­sis to mon­i­tor all the ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­tures in all mar­kets. To them I ex­tend my thanks. .

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