Grace Sahy­oun

ArabAd - - COVER STORY -

Gen­eral Man­ager - Equa­tion Me­dia THE STRUG­GLE OF THE IN­DUS­TRY

The in­sta­bil­ity and eco­nomic woes that the coun­try has been wit­ness­ing in the past few years weighed down the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try, one of the most ver­sa­tile and ex­pand­ing sec­tors in the econ­omy. Hence, Le­banon’s ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try is strug­gling to come to terms with the new mar­ket dy­namic and as with else­where ad­ver­tis­ing in­vest­ments are in­creas­ingly mov­ing to­wards dig­i­tal, al­though not as quickly as some would like. In par­al­lel to the boom­ing of dig­i­tal­iza­tion, the global me­dia is im­ple­ment­ing new means to at­tract peo­ple’s at­ten­tion and with tech­nol­ogy be­ing the main driver of change, sev­eral ad­ver­tis­ing plat­forms are suf­fer­ing to per­sist on the back of the dig­i­tal plat­form ac­cel­er­a­tion.

Ac­cord­ingly, agen­cies need to be more and more equipped with dig­i­tal knowl­edge, tools and tal­ents to go along with this evo­lu­tion, to even­tu­ally of­fer more in­te­grated and dig­i­tally led ser­vices. If we don’t look at dig­i­tal as a main­stream chan­nel, we risk be­com­ing ir­rel­e­vant. De­mand for dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing has been in­creas­ing and the shift from tra­di­tional to dig­i­tal me­dia is gain­ing a foothold even though mar­ket­ing dol­lars may not in­crease. Given the sec­tor’s po­ten­tial, specif­i­cally in dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing, sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties are yet to be un­leashed by Le­banon’s me­dia in­dus­try. Nonethe­less, this boom­ing me­dia suf­fers from reg­u­la­tory and in­fras­truc­ture ob­sta­cles, such as the speed of the in­ter­net, as well as the lack of re­search tools avail­able in the coun­try’s mar­ket.

De­spite all of the above, Beirut re­mains one of the most vi­brant and cre­ative cities in the re­gion, and very soon it will re­claim its crown as the hub of the Mid­dle East ad­ver­tis­ing with many in­ter­na­tional yet re­gional agen­cies aim­ing at re­lo­cat­ing their cre­ative hubs to Le­banon.

Beirut re­mains one of the most vi­brant and cre­ative cities in the re­gion.

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