CDs unite to promote creativity

Dubai’s creative directors have come together to create a forum dedicated to championing the quality of advertising in the region.

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By  Tim Burrowes Published  July 10, 2005

Dubai’s creative directors have come together to create a forum dedicated to championing the quality of advertising in the region. The first meeting of the Creative Directors Forum took place on Tuesday night. The initial group of CDs consisted of Manoj Ammanath of Lowe, Dinesh Lalvani of Flip, Marc Lineveldt, from Team Y&R, Vincent Raffray from Tonic Communications, freelance Dominic Stallard and Shehzad Yunus of TBWA/ RAAD. Raffray said: “It’s important for us to have somewhere to encourage creativity. It will be a place to get people inspired.” Yunus added: “This will not be a clique — we want to invite any creative director from agencies that want to do good work. There are just a few people in this city who aspire to win a Cannes Lion and these are the sort of people who will want to join.” At the end of last month, Raffray won the Middle East’s first Lion with a Sony press ad. Three other agencies won shortlistings — the region’s best ever showing. It came just weeks after several agency bosses and creative directors bemoaned the lack of world-class work emerging from the region. Stallard said: “We are going to completely sideline the politics and get down to the pure idea of helping our clients sell good products incredibly well. We’re fed up as being seen as the poor relatives of places like Singapore. There’s really no reason why it should be like that.” Lineveldt said: “Our focus is also about finding student talent. I’m interested in advertising schools with local students.” The CDF, which meets again in about a fortnight, will organise an ‘ad of the month’ competition, build links with local colleges running advertising courses and attempt to be a voice on creativity. It is seeking sponsorship from media owners or elsewhere to fund its activities. Those interested in getting involved can reach the CDF by emailing simone.sebastian@gmail.com

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