From left; Mr. Marzouq J. Al Marzouq (Chairman – Paragon Marketing Communications) and Mr. Louai Alasfahani (CEO & Chief Creative Officer – Paragon International) holding Kuwait’s first and only CSR award.
Kuwait’ most awarded agency Paragon Wins Kuwait’s First CSR Award as “The best company organizing and executing CSR media campaigns” category.
KUWAIT: Under the auspices of and with the attendance of the Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Jassem Mohammad AlKharafi; Paragon Marketing Communications – Kuwait received a standing ovation for winning in Kuwait’s coveted first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award for their dedication to the reinforcement of social values and for their noble services to the Kuwaiti society in a special ceremony held on the 22nd of January, 2008 at Sheikha Salwa AL-Sabah hall. Accepting the award on behalf of Paragon was its CEO Mr. Marzouk Jassem Al Marzouk who stated “We have always succeeded in leading the initiative towards the commencement of the positive change in our community through a continues strategic non-profit awareness program launched since Paragon’s inception more than six-year back as part of our business strategy” he added “our awareness campaigns featured TV, Cinema, Out-Of-Home and print media vehicles as the media mix for anti-smoking, anti-drugs, anti-pollution, water/electricity preservation and most recently breast cancer campaigns. We are thrilled that our efforts have been successful in raising public awareness and that our work has been recognized by this award”. It is worth mentioning that Paragon’s SCR awareness campaigns have also earned them international awards and reputation which indicates the quality of work as well as their dedication to community services. Dr. Yagoub AlKandari the Head of the CSR Award Assembly stated in a congratulation letter to Paragon marketing Communications that “Paragon’s entree was selected by the judging panel as the best company in the companies organizing and executing CSR media campaigns category” he further added that “your activity in this area in the country is recognized, and we would like to thank you for being a good role model to other companies”. On this occasion Mrs. Diana Dimitrova Media Manager at Paragon Marketing Communications Kuwait office elaborated that “To ensure that Kuwaiti youth have access to training and development opportunities Paragon has also played active roles in supporting the initiatives of Lothan Youth Achievement Center (LOYAC) for the fourth consecutive year, mentored Kuwaiti interns from the American University of Sharja, Woman Cultural Society, Kuwait University and others as well as supporting PAWS”. The managing partner/Chief Creative Officer of Paragon Marketing Communications Mr. Louai Alasfahani extended his thanks on behalf of his team to the judging committee for their professionalism, to the various media for supporting their awareness campaigns and to the organizers for their initiative.
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).
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.
Above screen shot from Dubai Lynx 2012 website.
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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).
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.
Published in Business Today magazine. December 2012 special issue on branding. Page: 58.
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 www.bloganubis.com 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. ;)