Advertisers flock to pan-Arab media: PARC

Report indicates surge in region-wide ad spending.
Pan-Arab ad spend was 73% higher in the first half of 2009 compared to the first half of 2007, according to the report.
Pan-Arab ad spend was 73% higher in the first half of 2009 compared to the first half of 2007, according to the report.

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Advertisers have pumped 40% more revenue into pan-regional media in the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period last year, a Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC) report has indicated.

The increase is in spite of a decline in each of the MENA region’s top three advertising markets: the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Egypt. 

The report also demonstrated a whopping 73% increase in pan-regional advertising spend compared to the same period in 2007.

While newspapers and magazines both demonstrated a slight decline in total advertising revenue compared to the first half of last year, television demonstrated a marked increase.

The UAE still attracts the largest amount of advertising spend in the region despite suffering a decline of 26% compared to the first half of 2008. The KSA ad market shrunk by 5% and Egypt narrowly missed escaping the red zone with a drop of 3%.

Qatar, Lebanon and Kuwait accounted for the majority of the increase in media ad spending for individual national markets.

“Advertisers seem to be focusing more on stations like MBC and Fox Movies, which are broadcast right across the MENA region,” said Elie Jichi, operations and production manager, PARC.

He also pointed out that there was a change in the type of industries that were investing more in advertising.   

“Last year was a big year for advertising, especially in the UAE, up until the winter period,” he commented.

“Many large companies in the property and construction sectors were spending a lot on advertising, but now, you find government organisations and telecommunications companies are the top spenders.” 

In the UAE television sector, state-owned telco Etisalat was the largest advertiser with Hydra, Watani-UAE, du and Family Forum making up the remainder of the top five. 

The top three pan-Arab television advertisers named in the report were Head and Shoulders, Dabur and Saudi Telecomm.

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