Wael Husseini: With stability comes growth Ghada Chehaibar: Adaptation is key
I hate to sound like a broken record, but obviously the main ingredient that is holding the industry, as well as other industries back, is the continuous political instability and the inability of the government to provide the basic requirements for growth on so many fronts. With economic growth, all industries stand to benefit. The ad industry in Lebanon remains robust, even if it is not growing, in the sense that it is still a hub for creativity and creative talent across the region. I believe that with political stability and a government that is able to deliver on its commitments, the ad market would easily rebound and achieve growth in the new year and years to come.
MAIN KEY AREAS OF FOCUS
The days of the classic ad-agency business are definitely gone. At Publicis, we are always exploring ways to be more responsive and meet the ever-changing market and client expectations.
We have invested in social and mobile expertise and leverage our Group’s digital and technical innovation capabilities. Having said that, it is key not to lose focus on developing and adhering to a creative brand idea that holds all what we create within these different offerings in an integrated brand building approach.
ON THE NEW WAVE OF MARKETERS AND SPECIALSED AGENCIES
Marketers who advocate in-house agency set-up will find themselves at some point either developing cliché work or work that is not in tune with people’s aspirations, beliefs and/or expectations (most of us saw the public reaction to the recent TVC that Pepsi produced in-house). And independent agency set-up offers diversity and exposure over a multitude of brands and industries, hence enriching the creativity and thought process of its resources and there is added value in that for all marketers.
As for smaller agencies, although they position themselves as being cheaper and more flexible and responsive, this will not be sustainable over the long-run as their margins will eventually erode as they add on more talent and expertise (which drive costs up). Moreover, bigger agencies are reinventing their processes and offering to match today’s marketing needs, in addition to having accumulated an extensive and invaluable repository of brand-building expertise and benchmarks across many industries.
In the short run, it is definitely impacting agencies’ business, but I do not believe that this model is sustainable over the long run.
The ad industry in Lebanon remains robust, even if it is not growing, in the sense that it is still a hub for creativity and creative talent across the region
Wael El Husseini Managing Director Publicis Levant & Optimedia