Category Archives: Articles

‘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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The five Cs of the design studio

To create good design, and to build a good design studio, you need good people. In more than 10 years of running a design studio I have learnt that there are five types of people required for a great design studio: the five Cs.

Paul Bailey

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 | By Paul Bailey

1. Clients. If you are going to set up a design studio, then you need someone to design for.

Relationship: Find the right clients for you and build a relationship. Build an understanding of what the client hopes to achieve from projects you work on together. It is important that you and the client are clear on the ultimate aims for any design work. Obviously the quality of work is important but it is much easier to develop successful work when you have a good understanding with a client. In my experience clients can become ambassadors for your studio, even acting as unofficial new business developers.

Relationships: However, it’s not just about a single relationship. Build relationships with a number of people at a client company. This will help you grow the client base of your studio. People move jobs and by developing relationships with more than one person then when someone moves you still have a contact at your client company, but you now have a contact at a new company too.

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Louai Alasfahani, Paragon Chief Creative Officer – Leading by example

I will be remembered for my love of the industry and its diminishing champions, for placing Kuwait on the world map of graphic design, for my SCR initiatives and my exhilarating experience of swimming against the current fearlessly fighting for the truth and rejecting the statuesque by documenting the factual standing of creativity in the Arab region on by wiping the dirt off the mirror, industry practitioners could take a clearer look and see how it has aged disgracefully.

My legacy lives on through the veins of likeminded nomad warrior tribes of passionate professionals all over the world, whom commence positive change at every point of their journey guided by their moral compass and equipped with inherent valor, honor and the courage to lead. While most drink from wells they didn’t dig, we drink from our own wells dug through the dirt and rocks with bleeding nails mixed with our sweat. It is an honor to live by their side and together we leave this industry better than we first found it.

I left hope, a definition of purpose and a model to mimic. I left behind friendship. “Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.” – Orison Swett Marden. 😉

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Oman Advertising industry lose huge revenue

Wed, 27 June 2012

By Kabeer Yousuf –

MUSCAT — As a major chunk of leading companies in Oman are getting their advertisements, designing and even printing works out of the country, the Sultanate is losing several millions of rials to its neighbouring countries every year.
This revenue which is otherwise supposed to be circulating in the country’s economy is pumped out by companies as diverse as banking to telecommunication and from automotive to hospitality and chartered accountants firms.
It is said that while some firms are paying RO 25,000 every month against ‘creativity fees’, some major business houses which make use of Sultanate’s trade licence, related entity documentations and other relaxed facilities are pumping out nearly RO 4,000-5,000 each year to the glitz and glam of another country.
Whopping 80 per cent of the total expenditure on this is going out of the country and the players in the country are vying for the 20 per cent left behind.
“The reason is nothing but acute dearth of quality work to a great extent,” avers Louai Alasfahani, a wizard who took the glory of Arab design at the pinnacle of global attention when he was chosen a member of the grand jury at the New York Advertising Festival 2012, representing Oman for the first time.

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It took Lowe MENA four years to copy Paragon Marketing Communications awarded work

Client: Mix FM

Agency: Paragon Marketing Communications

Creative Director: Louai Alasfahani

Country: Kuwait

Year: 2008

Advertising Agency: Lowe MENA, Dubai
Creative Director: Marwan Saab
Art Directors: Pramod Surwase, Prashant Yeware
Copywriter: Marwan Saab
Account Handlers: Maram Salah
Executive Business Director: Irfan Fatmi

Country: UAE – Dubai

Year: 2012

Global voice roaming


Cannes Lions 2012


Cannes, 20 June 2012 – The winners of the Press, Radio, Design and Cyber Lions categories have been announced and awarded at the third Awards Ceremony of the Cannes Lions Festival week.

This year the Design Lions attracted 2182 entries, the Cyber Lions received 2458 submissions, Radio saw 1784 and entries totalled 6056 in the Press Lions.

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