IRAQ

ArabAd - - COVER STORY - BY: RAGHEED MASRI Re­search Di­rec­tor, Head of Me­di­act

For the past two years, the mas­sive in­sta­bil­ity that Iraq has been wit­ness­ing has forced the ad­ver­tis­ers to re­duce their ex­pen­di­ture. This volatile sit­u­a­tion has caused a sig­nif­i­cant drop of 15% in com­par­i­son to the ex­pen­di­ture of $463 mil­lion in 2016 com­pared to $546 Mil­lion back in 2015. TV has al­ways been the preva­lent me­dia when it comes to ad­ver­tis­ing with around 96% or a to­tal worth $446 mil­lion. Stay­ing on that front, all the me­dia out­lets have seen a de­cline in vari­ant de­grees ex­cept for the Out­door sec­tor, which wit­nessed a 6% in­crease in 2016 com­pared to 2015. On the other hand, TV saw a drop of 16% and Ra­dio wit­nessed a slight 2% drop. As for the Press, the drop was around 25% reach­ing $2.5 mil­lion com­pared to $3.4 mil­lion in 2015. As for Cin­ema, the drop was around 54%. Although the ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­ture has wit­nessed a sig­nif­i­cant drop in 2016, the top 10 brands in the Iraqi mar­kets man­aged to in­crease their ad­ver­tis­ing spend to $156 mil­lion in 2016 com­pared to $152 mil­lion in 2015. Some of the brands man­aged to stay in the list of the top 10 Ad­ver­tis­ers in 2016, while oth­ers lost their stand­ing to other brands. Zain suc­ceeded in main­tain­ing its mo­men­tum as the top con­tender for the sec­ond year run­ning with more than $40 mil­lion, fol­lowed by Mah­moud who was ranked 2nd this year as op­posed to the 3rd place back in 2015. This was fol­lowed by Asi­a­cell in 3rd place, which was ranked in 4th place in 2015. Al­tunsa came in 4th place, which pre­vi­ously oc­cu­pied 2nd place in 2015. The new en­trants Chavy Land, Fastlink and Flo­ria City came in the 5th, 6th and the 7th places re­spec­tively, fol­lowed by Confy baby in 8th place with around $7.2 mil­lion. Other en­trants were Tazech and Da­nia City in the 9th and the 10th place. As for the Ad­ver­tis­ing Agencies op­er­at­ing in Iraq, Ed­dico man­aged to oc­cupy the first place leav­ing Mind­share in 2nd place, which used to be in first place, fol­lowed by Starcom, Universal Me­dia, Me­di­acom, Drive Dentsu. Ini­tia­tive came in 8th place, leav­ing Havas and Zenith Me­dia in the last two places in the top 10 agencies’ list. Given the con­tin­ued in­sta­bil­ity of the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in Iraq, it is hard to pre­dict the state of the ad­ver­tis­ing scene for the com­ing year. How­ever, if all cir­cum­stances re­main the same, the con­fi­dence in the Iraqi mar­ket will in­crease lead­ing the top spenders to spend more, thereby rais­ing the ad­ver­tis­ing sec­tor to the next level.

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