Bahrain ad industry facing big challenges
Manama, May 30, 2012
Bahrain's advertising industry is facing a challenging time at present as it has an undaunting task to help bring the nation together and regain the positive image of the country, said an industry expert.
'The industry will require our joint efforts and co-operation as advertisers, advertising agencies, media, public relations and other related services,' remarked International Advertising Association (IAA) Bahrain chapter president and IAA worldwide board member Khamis Al Muqla.
Al Muqla was addressing delegates at a media lunch at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence and Spa on Tuesday.
The lunch was hosted by the Economic Development Board but the guest speaker Transportation Minister and EDB acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed was unable to attend as he had to accompany His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Economic Development Board Chairman on an official visit to India.
Al Muqla pointed out that the advertising industry had a mission to help bring the nation together and regain its positive image and also restore confidence in the economy.
'A good example for a good marketing campaign was the recent Formula One advertising, which talked about a unified one nation and one celebration,' he said. 'Our mission is also to promote our industry and continue growth,' he added.
'In 2011, advertising expenditure saw a decline from $140 million in 2010 to $112 million or even less than that. The first quarter of 2012 saw expenditure of $23 million compared to $26 million for the same period in 2011.'
'Our objective is to get back to the 2010 level and move forward,' Al Muqla observed.
'Regionally in 2011 most of the local markets have been affected by the political situation known as the Arab Spring except Pan Arabic satellite television, which showed an increase of 16pc leading to a total regional increase of 10pc from $11.6bn to $12.8bn in 2011,' he said.
'We have a lot of interesting news to share with you,' he stated.
'Bahrain Media City is moving forward and a new international business channel Al Arab will be launched in Bahrain soon,' he added.
'The Information Affairs Authority has signed a representation agreement with the object of increasing television and radio advertising revenue as this sector does not exceed 15 per cent of the total advertising spend in Bahrain,' he said.
'The IAA Bahrain Chapter membership continues to grow steadily and has reached 35 members to date but our objective is to reach 100 members soon.
'The eGovernment Authority has become our first corporate member and I am pleased to welcome them and I hope this will lead to other corporate memberships,' he added.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Minister of State for Information Affairs Sameera Rajab, said, 'Misleading statements against Bahrain after the unrest last year caused the shrinkage in advertising investments.'
She stressed that advertising firms and Bahrain's media must play a key role in changing the kingdom's false image abroad, according our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej.-TradeArabia News Service