Guess what? The UAE boasts the second most successful advertising industry in the world. The accolade is highlighted in an international report by The Big Won. But before you start celebrating, a closer look at the criteria behind these rankings is definitely required.
With all due credit to the progress being made in the UAE’s advertising sector, any order of merit which rates the emirates above both the UK and the USA naturally raises some questions.
So how is this report compiled? Well, as described previously on this blog, the results were presented as an interim indication of how the world’s countries, networks, agencies and senior advertising figures performed at the awards ceremonies held during the first quarter of 2009 – including two in the Middle East, two in London, three in the USA and one each in Thailand and Romania.
Helping the Middle East reach prominence were Memac Ogilvy Dubai and Leo Burnett Beirut, as well as FP7 Doha, whose Fadi Yaish was named top creative director. When Campaign contacted the UK-based compiler of the list to inform him that all of Fp7 Doha’s Dubai Lynx awards had either been revoked or returned following the scandal over scam entries, we were told the list would be amended accordingly.
The new listings can be seen here. Fp7 Doha, which was previously rated as the world’s number two creative agency, has unsurprisingly disappeared from the top 10 but the UAE remains the second best country overall.
It should also be pointed out that the cut-off point for these rankings is now 7 May, strangely just a few days before the conclusion of The One Show, a week before the announcement of The Clios and just over a month before Cannes.
Surely the setting of this apparently arbitrary date presents a confusingly skewed reflection of real success?
For respect and credibility, any rankings of international agencies must be based on a level playing field. And if the small matter of FP7 Doha’s Lynx awards escaped the attention of The Big Won’s chief, is it unfair to wonder whether anything else has been missed?
The Big Won correctly credits many top agencies and creatives but it certainly shouldn’t be taken as an accurate barometer of overall performance.