Campaign ME Newsletter 17th July 2005

This week’s theme must be organisations. Alexander McNabb talks about the Middle East PR Association, a body started by the affable Jack Pearce. It’s also the turn of the young Turks, with the creation of the Creative Directors Forum, driven by Tonic’s Vincent Raffray, among others.

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By  Tim Burrowes Published  July 17, 2005

Now’s the time to answer the clarion call of change|~||~||~|This week’s theme must be organisations. Alexander McNabb talks about the Middle East PR Association, a body started by the affable Jack Pearce. It’s also the turn of the young Turks, with the creation of the Creative Directors Forum, driven by Tonic’s Vincent Raffray, among others. The two organisations are in somewhat different life stages. MEPRA is well established and can be confident of drawing respectable attendances for its regular gatherings. The CDF had a more modest six creative directors at its inaugural meeting. But their aims are virtually the same — to leave the business and politics outside the door and swap ideas that drive best practice. And the existence of both says something about the point the industry has got to. I was going to argue that it demonstrates that the Middle East’s communications industry is moving up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, from safety to seeking belonging, but then my colleagues pointed out that this would show me up as an irritating pseud and threatened to slap me. But it is interesting that this young industry has reached the point where it is beginning to organise. It can’t be entirely a coincidence that now is also the right time for the GCC Advertisers Association — organised by Unilver’s Mike Gillam and featured in our media agency article over the page — to begin driving a move to greater transparency. Or that the local branch of the International Advertising Association is getting active over audit. For any group to succeed, it takes two things — a few individuals willing to put in an excessive amount of time and effort, and wider support from the industry. Right now, everybody is talking about how to improve the industry. In the likes of Pearce, Raffray and Gillam, the leaders have stepped forward. Now it’s down to the rest of us. Are you going to join the charge?||**||

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