Category Archives: Articles

Powering Down the Power 150

As of July 15th, 2013, Ad Age has shut down the Power 150 service. While you’ll still be able to view our final rankings, they will not be updated in the future. We will also no longer be accepting new blogs. If your blog was waiting to be accepted, we won’t be reviewing it for inclusion. For the time being, you can still search the list and download an OPML file of all the current blogs.

Why are we shutting it down? Since we took over the list from Todd Andrlik in 2007, conversations on marketing have broadened their reach well beyond personal blogs to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other places. If blogging lowered the barrier to entry, social media obliterated it. Because of that, and with more holistic influence measurement tools like Klout, the Power 150 is less relevant and powerful than it was six years ago.

And in practical terms, with social media APIs ever-changing and new sources of data appearing at a regular clip, we’ve decided to put our resources into interactive data projects like our Viral Video Charts or our YouTube Channel Tracker.

For fans of the service over the years, we thank you for joining us and providing so much valuable feedback and enthusiasm. To wrap things up, we thought we’d let Todd Andrlik, original creator of the list, have the last word. His comments — and a plug for his new book — are below.

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First Ever Wedding Exhibition in Khartoum Promotes Cultural Unity



Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 2013: In celebration of its 5th anniversary, Corinthia Hotel Khartoum, a five-star luxury property that has established itself as the premiere luxury hotel in the city, proudly launched last week the first ever Wedding Exhibition in Khartoum. This breakthrough initiative by the five star property has brought together 2000 visitors over its four-days forum, resulting in increased business for local entrepreneurs and businesses as well as attracting investors from the wedding and events industry from the GCC.

Weddings in Khartoum, as in many countries around the world are happy occasions that can bring cultural unison in a society. Corinthia Hotel Khartoum’s decision to launch this unique four-day Wedding Exhibition follows a clear vision from the hotel’s management to contribute to the economic development of the hotel as well as supporting the country’s economy by attracting foreign investors.

With the generous sponsorship from Samsung, Zain and Marsland Airlines, as well as the support of other quality partner exhibitors during the fair, the prestigious property Corinthia Hotel in Khartoum, sitting on the confluence of the Blue and White Nile, has opened its doors to local residents and also foreigners to make the best use of the beautiful and elegant hotel and its lush, landscaped gardens for weddings and events.

“We are highly satisfied with the large turnout at the fair and we feel that we have successfully achieved our main aims, which were to welcome residents and foreigners alike into our luxurious hotel to present to them the unique possibility of experiencing this unique event in their life onto the property’s luxurious premises”.

“Another objective was to bring together under one roof wedding organisers, health and beauty experts and other specialists required to organise a wedding to help them develop their business and we have fruitfully contributed to this”, added Mr Nicholas Borg, General Manager of the hotel.

Corinthia Hotel Khartoum has generously introduced a special package during the fair to couples who decide to have their wedding ceremony at the hotel. The couples receive a delicious wedding cake for free and best of all, complimentary nights in the specially designed honeymoon suites of the hotel.

For more information about Corinthia Hotel Khartoum, please visit:

Leading Middle East media group Mediaquest acquires AME Info and SME Info websites from Top Right Group

Mediaquest Final Logo 2012 small AMEInfo Logo 2

Dubai, UAE – June 5, 2013: Mediaquest, a leading media company in the Middle East and North Africa, has acquired AME Info and SME Info websites, two of the region’s leading business outlets for news and information. The sites attract more than 2.4 million unique users monthly. Commercial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The agreement was signed by Alexandre Hawari, co-CEO of Mediaquest, who said:

“The acquisition of both the AME Info and SME Info websites are in line with our growth strategy and commitment to strengthening the position of regional publications. We are delighted to have another feather in our business publications cap.”

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I Confess. I Cheated.


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You’re in school taking the most important and hardest class you’ll ever take.  There’s a lot of pressure because if you make an A you’ll be guaranteed a job.  A B might get you the job depending on how everyone else in the class does.  But you’re pretty confident because you’ve worked harder than your classmates.

First test you make a B.  A few of your classmates make Cs and Ds but the majority make As, and you wonder how they did that.  Soon, you hear that one of your classmates has a copy of all the semester’s tests, obtained perhaps by cleverly hacking into the professor’s computer.  The ones who are cheating ask if you’d like to come over and “study” with them for the next test.  You decline because you don’t want to be a cheater.

You study more than you did for the last test because you know you have to just to keep up.  You end up with a B plus.  They make As again.  They’re contacted by job recruiters.  You are not.  Even some of the ones who made Cs and Ds on the first test are now making As, moving you closer to the bottom of the pack.  You’d like to tell on them, but you have no proof.  Besides, that would really tick off the whole group, and they pretty much detest you anyway for your goody-two-shoes routine.

You do what you have to.  You join them.  You make your A.  You get the job.  You’re financially independent and so happy about that.  You get married and have kids, whose piano and tennis lessons you can pay for thanks to that good job.  Your family is happy.  No regrets.  You and your college buddies laugh about that class years later.

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Paragon Bulgaria operations manager to head Paragon Kuwait

arab times  jan20 2013

jan 20 2013

The internationally awarded branding agency, Paragon Marketing Communications; celebrated for innovative and disruptive work shaking up the industry, has kicked off its New Year by locally infusing new blood throughout its agency ranks coupled with top management restructuring in the Paragon independent network as Ivan Totev Paragon’s Bulgaria operations manager takes the helm at Paragon Kuwait while his predecessor Diana Geroge leads Paragon Oman.  Marzouq Jassem Al Marzouq and Louai Alasfahani both remain as founding partner/chairman and founding partner/chief creative officer respectively.

Ivan Totev launched his carrier as a copywriter and swiftly honed his skills at international agencies in Bulgaria such as: Bates, Ogilvy&Mather and Saatchi&Saatchi, where he held the position of managing director prior to joining Paragon, the fastest growing independent agency in the region.  Ivan’s rich experience extends beyond the telecom, retail, financial and FMCG sectors which he is most passionate about having worked for the last 15 years for some of the Balkan’s (Eastern European) mega brands in his specialized fields of integrated marketing communications, branding, new business development and consultancy.

Ivan stated, ”Kuwait’s local advertising industry is highly developed yet highly price sensitive; a fact that continues to fascinate thereby propelling Paragon’s upward trajectory through deep understanding of its client’s brand-values, markets, competitors and delivering more than just creative designs as advertising solutions but equally important, campaigns that have measurable results and real direct impact on business profits through pushing sales upwards”.  He added, “Paragon’s lead position is maintained by fuelling its creative renaissance by utilizing graphic design as a business strategy in an independent network corporate culture operating in three markets namely Kuwait, Bulgaria and Oman with plans to expand to other GCC countries in the very near future”.

Both Ivan Toteve and Louai Alasfahani had the privilege of being mentored by Misa Lukic President of the Management Board & Co-owner at MMS Communications/Publicis Group Serbia (Leo Burnett,Publicis,Saatchi).

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Dubai Lynx rules changed


The Dubai Lynx has changed the rules for the 2013 media agency of the year title, allowing only media agencies to win the award, Campaign ME has reported. Under the new rules, advertising agencies, clients and media owners can continue to enter and win a media Lynx, but the involvement of the media agency or media department is now a mandatory field on the entry form, with the media agency and not the creative agency being allocated points towards the media agency of the year title. “The reality is that the media category should reward tactical media planning and placement and these changes will reflect that,” said Terry Savage, chairman of Lions Festivals, organiser of the Lynx.



Screen Shot 2012-02-25 at 11.54.38 AM

Above screen shot from Dubai Lynx 2012 website.

‘Broken’ Advertising Industry Fixes Itself

( – Over 100 leading advertising minds across six continents agree: the ad industry is broken. This is the controversial conclusion of a globally crowdsourced new book titled, Digital Doesn’t Matter (and other advertising heresies). Together they paint a bleak future for any marketing organization that fails to adapt to the digital revolution. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

The book is by two veterans of the Asia digital advertising scene, Josh Sklar and John Lambie, who have just launched a KickStarter campaign to turn their findings into an interactive platform they plan to keep up to date as the industry continues to evolve.

Josh Sklar, XM’s founding employee and first creative director states, “We’d been hearing the complaints from within the industry for years, so we finally decided to put it to the test with perhaps the largest panel of experts ever assembled on the subject. This project is all about helping advertising professionals adapt to the massive, global change that has put audiences in control. Brands and agencies are struggling to keep up, although these days, it’s mostly the agencies. We explore where the industry went wrong, what needs to happen to put it right and what will happen if we continue to let things go on as they are – driving talent out of the industry and the marketers into the arms of technical specialists.

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Newsweek last print issue vs. Kuwait rate increase in print media daily newspapers

Last Print Issue Of Newsweek


While Newsweek is shutting down its print production after almost 80 years due to the slump in print advertising sales, Kuwait’s Al Watan and Al Rai daily newspapers have made a tradition of increasing their rates every year (yes they did it again this year too) they are doing so to counter the diminishing sales of print media daily newspapers as a means to compensate the lost sales!!!!!!! Ironically Newsweek Arabic edition is published by Al Watan 🙂

In my tenure as President of the IAA Kuwait Chapter I spearheaded an initiative to reinstate Media Auditing which the leading Al Watan and Al Rai refused to have their circualtion audited (in honesty they were not the only ones, so did Al Anba and Al Qabas).

IAA Kuwait Chapter hosts BPA round table discussion and Safe Media presentation

IAA Kuwait conference “Bringing the industry together Part one”

The search for credible research

In addition to the above madness many “leading” daily newspapers in Kuwait have adopted an aggressive stance towards the advertising agencies by not only demanding more ads in their titles vs. their competitors but enforced a punishment discount in retrospect to any agency that does not comply!!! another weapon in their arsenal which they use very effectively is approaching directly the clients of agencies that  are not deterred by the first punishment tactic and offer them higher discount than what the agency is getting!!!!

How long do you think this is going to continue?…The Future is digital…the present is digital.

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