Campaign ME Newsletter 5th June 05

Now, I’m sorry to start moaning so soon. After all, it is only issue three. But, I mean, no D&AD wins at all? Are we not perhaps capable of just a bit better than that?

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By  Tim Burrowes Published  June 5, 2005

Middle East ad agencies must be more creative|~||~||~|Now, I’m sorry to start moaning so soon. After all, it is only issue three. But, I mean, no D&AD wins at all? Are we not perhaps capable of just a bit better than that? Yes, it looks like we can add advertising creativity, or the lack of it, to the list of hot topics for the coming months. The signs were there last week of course — in our head-to-head debate, both Marc Chalhoub of Leo Burnett and Kristian Sumners of TBWA/RAAD were critical of the creative standards in the Middle East. But, as we report this week, it’s been underlined in the dreadful showing in the D&AD Awards, which is one of the biggest celebrations of advertising creativity going. Out of the 131 names read out on the night, not a single one came from a Middle East agency. A bit of work to be done there then. There is of course an argument that so long as advertising is good enough for the local market, then what’s the point in poncing about trying to win awards? But the point is that if the advertising is world class, then the cut-through it achieves against the inferior opposition will give the client a massive advantage. Don’t get me wrong — there is lots of seriously good stuff out there — all the agencies have won local and regional awards for great work. And we’ll be doing our bit to showcase it every week — you can see the most recent examples on page 21, and we welcome more from across the region. But, unfortunately, there is also a lot of remarkably average direct response stuff around too. Try an experiment. Tune in to a radio station, or open up a newspaper. Ask yourself — is there any advert you could not have thought of yourself, given half an hour with a blank piece of paper? Probably not. Still, all’s not lost. The announcement of winners of the Cannes Lions — the world’s biggest advertising competition — comes in a couple of weeks’ time. Feeling optimistic for a good Middle East showing at Cannes? Me neither.||**||

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