Ad agency on the rise as turnover doubles in year

A Dubai-based advertising agency says it has more than doubled its turnover within 12 months.

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By  Tim Burrowes Published  October 2, 2005

A Dubai-based advertising agency says it has more than doubled its turnover within 12 months. Insignia, headed by managing director Gaurav Sinha and partner Lucy Bruce, has moved from a turnover of AED5 million (US$1.3 million) last year, to already hitting AED10 million (US$2.7 million) this year. The Dubai Media City firm now has 14 staff and focuses on clients in service-based industries that have a high level of interaction with consumers. Insignia’s most recent big account win has been home furnishing giant Marina, which has eight stores in the UAE and a further four elsewhere in the region. The latest campaign — focusing on inspiring consumers to want to do more with their home — is just breaking. The chain’s latest store opened in Dubai’s new Mall of the Emirates complex last week. Sinha said: “Marina has already created a great local brand, with a position that is still very relevant. Our role is to focus on aspirational values for consumers — to have them touch and feel the brand.” Meanwhile, the agency has also picked up work from Boeing, I-mate, the Dubai School of Government and property resellers gowealthy. com. And among its biggest clients are DHL and Al Maya supermarkets. Most clients are from within retail, hospitality, travel or banking. Sinha says that since launching in 2003, the agency has won 100% of the pitches it has been involved in and that an office in Doha is now being contemplated. The agency has so far eschewed an alliance with any of the big media buyers, preferring to take care of media buying itself. Last year it bought about AED45 million (US$12.2 million) of media on behalf of clients. Sinha said: “We don’t want to be the biggest agency in the Middle East, but we want to have a big reputation for strategy and having focus on standards. We’d like to be known as the number one agency as far as helping clients within the service sector goes.” Asked if the agency would be for sale to the right network, he said: “It’s always possible to consider it, but we can grow within the Dubai market first, and anything else would be in the long run.” Up to now the agency’s main focus has been on below the line and print, but Sinha says that larger clients will soon be ready for television. He said: “TV is the next phase for us. In the long run we will be doing TV commercials for Al Maya and Marina.” Sinha said that the quality of creative in the market still has room for improvement. He said: “Creative standards have seen a massive improvement and it’s nice to see punctuation finally being embraced by copywriters and clients, but we are still not as good as we can be. Clients have to start understanding that David Ogilvy was right — the consumer is not a moron; she is your wife. Ads don’t have to talk down to people.”

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